Arsenal striker Robin van Persie claims he urged Arsene Wenger to sign Rafael van der Vaart.

Van der Vaart joined the Gunners' north London rivals Tottenham from Real Madrid instead and has made an impressive start to life in England with seven goals in 12 games in all competitions.

Van Persie told NUsport: "He (Van der Vaart) is a great footballer, I know the quality he has. I would rather have him at Arsenal. I indicated a couple of times that Rafael would be useful for Arsenal but that advice was not followed."

He added: "I regret the fact he was not signed, but it is the right of the club, this is just my opinion.

"Now you can see the result. Spurs were a good team but now they are a top team."

Van Persie and van der Vaart will now have the opportunity to go head-to-head for the first time since the latter joined Spurs as he travels to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the north London derby on Saturday.

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