Robin van Persie claims that he asked Arsene Wenger to sign Giorgio Chiellini during his time at the Emirates.
The Netherlands legend was on the books of Arsenal from 2004 to 2012 before leaving to join Manchester United.
Despite scoring more than 100 goals for the Gunners, he won only an FA Cup with the club before his departure and he has now revealed that the club was struggling at the back then and needed reinforcements.
He said that he had faced Chiellini a few times and he thought the Italian was the real deal.
He had been frustrated by Arsenal’s tendency to concede goals at the back which meant that no matter how many goals they scored, they would still struggle to win games.
The Gunners lacked a winning mentality and he could see that mindset in Chiellini, that is why he asked Wenger to bring the now 36-year-old to Arsenal.
While on the Effe Relativeren Podcast, Van Persie said: “At a given moment I felt called upon to say what Arsenal could do better in order to win the league.
“I felt we lacked a winning mentality, and asked Arsene Wenger to sign Giorgio Chiellini.
“I have played against him a few times, and he is a genuine winner. You could see that when he played against Holland a few weeks ago.
“He is 36 year old, but he’ll dish out nine elbows every game with a smile on his face. He’ll keep smiling and never get a yellow card.
“You need those types of winners and killers in your side. I felt we should get him.
“I came up with suggestions and names on the basis of my own experience. We were very good up front, and scored lots of goals.
“But your goalkeeper and your defence are the basis of your team.
“To my mind ours were not at the level needed to truly compete for the title.”