Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has for the first time conceded that Robin van Persie's transfer to Manchester United, caused the north London club considerable unrest, and played a part in destabilising the first-team, reports the Daily Mail.
The 63-year-old Frenchman spoke openly and honestly at the club's latest AGM, and was asked to explain the reaction by his players following the £24million sale of their former captain.
Van Persie left the Gunners in the final year of his contract, after making it clear he had no plans to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium, which forced through a move to Old Trafford.
The Dutchman went on to help Sir Alex Ferguson's side regain the Premier League title from Manchester City, securing a record 20th top-flight crown for Manchester United, while Arsenal had to settle for a fourth-place finish, which was decided at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
"We lost Van Persie, created a lot of unrest and destabilised team," Wenger admitted. "But from November to May the team showed fantastic mental strength."
Olivier Giroud was signed as a replacement for Van Persie, and although he made a modest start to life in England, he's helped propel Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table this term, while Van Persie and Manchester United - now under the stewardship of David Moyes - are way down in ninth, with 10 points from their opening seven games.