Robin van Persie has revealed the words of advice that Arsene Wenger offered to him at the start of his Arsenal career.
The Gunners splashed out just £3 million on the then 20-year-old van Persie from Feyenoord, but when he came, he was to compete with the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Wenger made it clear to him from the start that he wasn’t here to become an automatic first-team player.
He revealed that the Frenchman told him he needed to take his time and that the club expected him to develop over a two-year period before he could become a starter, he would instead get his chances at that time from Cup competitions.
He claimed that when he looked at the calibre of players he was training with that made him feel that he had made the right choice by joining the Gunners instead of moving to PSV who also wanted to sign him.
‘Sometimes you have the feeling you’re in the right place. Just to be able to train with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires,’ Van Persie said in an interview with DAZN as quoted by the Metro.
‘To compete in training with Campbell, Toure…. even then in training was a dream for me.
‘I could earn more at PSV, because the deal at Arsenal was my worst deal in my career but it didn’t matter because I believed Arsene and myself that I was at the right club.
‘Arsene told me, ‘Robin you’re not here to be a starter in next two seasons so take your time, believe the process and learn. Ask as many questions as you want. Express yourself and be open and patient’.
‘Those words were crucial to me, I believed him. I took my time, he said, ‘you’ll make your minutes in Carling Cup and FA Cup and the process will make you a starter at Arsenal’. And that’s exactly what happened.’