Former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has revealed his unhappiness that Robin Van Persie quit the club when he did, claiming he should have gone onto become a club legend.
The Dutch striker struggled with injuries in his time at Arsenal, but scored an amazing 48 Premier League goals in his last two seasons with the club, including 30 in his final year.
Despite the striker hitting top form with the club, he decided to quit the club with only one year remaining on his contract, and Manchester United came calling.
Van Persie went onto fire his new team to the Premier League title in the 2012-13 campaign with another 26 goals, but the clubs fortunes changed drastically after that title with Alex Ferguson stepping down as boss.
After three years with the club he departed for Fenerbahce, and even he may have regrets over his decision to quit the club.
Vermaelen took over the captain’s armband after the striker left the club in the summer of 2012, but he admits that he was surprised to see him leave.
“It was a surprise he left,” Vermaelen told Arsenal FC.
“I knew he was going to go eventually but to hear that he’d all of a sudden left for Manchester United was a big surprise.
“I wanted him to stay at Arsenal of course, because in his last season with us he was the PFA Player of the Year. He had a great season, the best season of his career, so I wanted him to stay and be a legend.
“Of course, he’s strong in his character so he couldn’t change his mind. I think that’s a good thing because that makes him the person and player he is. You couldn’t change his mind, he’d made it up that he was going to go.”
Could Van Persie have helped us win a Premier League title, our first since the Invincibles of 2004? Should he have gone down in our history as opposed to become a hated figure at the club?