In Sports by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 21st, April, 2020

Robin van Persie reveals one great regret over Arsenal exit to Manchester United

Robin van Persie has admitted that he regrets penning an open letter saying he would not sign a new deal at Arsenal shortly before making a move to Manchester United back in 2012.

The Dutch striker only had one year to run on his contract with the Gunners when he announced he would not be signing an extension, paving the way for his £24million move to Old Trafford a month later. While Van Persie stands by his decision to leave the Emirates, even taking a pop at former Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis and his handling of the situation, he feels he could have dealt with things differently in hindsight.

Robin Robin van Persie has admitted that he regrets penning an open letter saying he would not sign a new deal at Arsenal shortly before making a move to Manchester United back in 2012. The Dutch striker only had one year to run on his contract with the Gunners when he announced he would not be signing an extension, paving the way for his £24million move to Old Trafford a month later. While Van Persie stands by his decision to leave the Emirates, even taking a pop at former Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis and his handling of the situation, he feels he could have dealt with things differently in hindsight.

Speaking on The High Performance Podcast, Van Persie explained: ‘It was not only between me and Arsene Wenger, there was more happening with Ivan of course and the way he behaved and the way he handled the whole situation.

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‘If I look back at that whole situation, I have to look at myself as well, where I could have done better or could have done something differently. If I look back, that open letter I shouldn’t have done that. ‘If I look back at that, in such a delicate, difficult situation of making a transfer after spending so much time at Arsenal, to make a decision to write an open letter to tell my truth in two pages was impossible.’

He continued: ‘I think back then it went to the newspaper because there was not social media. So I did that, and that was because I was disappointed with Ivan and his behaviour.

‘But I could not go into detail about what exactly back then, because it’s just impossible to tell the whole story behind it. And partly it was the fact that Arsenal did not offer me a new deal. So if I look back at that, I should have done that better.’ Probed on how disappointed many Arsenal fans still are about the open letter, Van Persie responded: ‘And I get that.

But I can promise you on my kids, if someone comes with proof that Arsenal offered me a deal, I will give you a million [pounds] now, today. ‘It was Arsenal’s decision not to offer me a deal and that is up to them. After many conversations it became clear that we had different ideas about the club.

‘I had seven points where I thought Arsenal could improve and in my opinion those seven points they should start dealing with them straight away to be able to compete with the best teams.

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‘It doesn’t really matter what points they are, what matters is that Ivan decided that he didn’t agree with one single point of those seven points – which is fair enough. ‘So taking that information on board, Arsenal doesn’t offer me a deal, they didn’t agree with my views – which were only to help, honest views of how the club should move forward – that is a very clear message.

‘For me it is not an issue anymore, that’s life. That’s life at the top clubs, businesses make decisions and players as well in this case do as well. I’m perfectly happy with how it ended up, I went to Manchester United, we won the league, so it’s perfectly fine for me. ‘I’m not angry with Ivan. I’m grateful to have worked with Arsene for eight years, he played such a crucial part in my career.

I can honestly say that without his influence I would not have been the player I ended up becoming. So I’m happy, I’m thankful, it’s just that there are certain facts that you can’t look away from.

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