Wembley

Next Game

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday, 02 August 2015, 15:00

FA Community Shield

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 1 - 0 Wolfsburg

Sunday, 26 July 2015, 16:20

Emirates Cup

Wenger: RVP age played a part

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits Robin van Persie's age meant the striker was ever more likely to leave Emirates Stadium the longer their trophy drought continued.

Last Updated: 28/04/13 at 15:15 Post Comment

Robin van Persie: Has made a big impact at Old Trafford

Robin van Persie: Has made a big impact at Old Trafford

Former skipper Van Persie is in line for a hot reception in what will be his first return to Arsenal on Sunday since a controversial £24million summer move to Manchester United.

Some disgruntled Arsenal fans are said to be ready to turn their backs in protest when the teams come out from the tunnel for a guard of honour to mark United's achievement in securing a 20th championship.

Wenger admits it was "one of the hardest decisions" to sell Van Persie - who netted a hat-trick which beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford on Monday night to claim the title - rather than look to hold him to the final year of his contract.

The Arsenal manager, though, can understand the desire of the Holland forward to look to claim success elsewhere rather than continuing to wait in hope for Arsenal to finally come good in 2013.

Wenger said: "Robin arrived at the age of 29 and thought 'can we win the championship here or do I have to more chances to win it somewhere else?'

"There is a kind of timescale like for a woman who has no baby at 39, she starts to think, 'I have not much time left now'."

The manager continued: "It is difficult when the player does not want to be here, to force him to be here and know that at the end of the season the club does not get anything with knowing that he might not contribute as well, so you are twice a loser.

"We have lost some other big players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, but they had won with the club and they were around 30 or 31.

"Robin could help us to win because we haven't won for a few years. That he left before that was frustrating for us."

Underrated

While Wenger always knew his long-time talisman would have a major say in the outcome of the championship, he believes the industry of United midfielder Michael Carrick - who like Van Persie has been shortlisted for Sunday's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award - must be recognised.

"I think Carrick is an underrated player in England. Sometimes not only should the goalscorer be rewarded, but the real players in the heart of the game. Carrick, for me, deserves it," said Wenger.

"I would choose Carrick as Robin had it (FWA Footballer of the Year) last season. Give it to somebody different.

"Carrick is a quality passer. He could play in Barcelona. He would be perfectly suited to their game.

"He has a good vision and an intelligent player and it is for what he has achieved in his whole career as well.

"It is this year or never for him. Just because he is nearly 32 years old and after they go down."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Leicester agree club-record fee for Charles Aranguiz

Leicester are discussing terms with Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz after agreeing a club-record £10.5m fee with Internacional.

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

Liverpool beat HJK, Villa draw at Forest and Leeds see off Everton

Liverpool beat HJK, Aston Villa drew 3-3 at Nottingham Forest, while Leeds beat Everton 2-0 and Newcastle lost at home on Saturday.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company