The Dutchman was arguably the Premier League’s best player at the time and adored by Arsenal supporters.
He was Arsenal’s captain. Their main man. Their match-winner. But he decided to join Man Utd after ‘listening to the little boy within him’ who was screaming out for a move to Old Trafford.
"It is always quite difficult to find a perfect match but I do feel that this is perfect for me,” Van Persie said at the time. How right he was.
The two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner was outstanding during his debut season with United, scoring 30 goals in 48 appearances.
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He was instrumental in United’s Premier League title triumph and, subsequently, will always occupy a special place in the hearts of the Old Trafford faithful.
The same can’t be said about the Arsenal fans, despite the fact Van Persie spent much longer (eight seasons compared to three with United) with the Gunners.
Many of them still haven’t forgiven him for the way he left the club and probably never will.
Among the Arsenal supporters who still holds a grudge against Van Persie is comedian Romesh Ranganathan.
And the two men came face-to-face for the first time this week for an episode of ‘A League of Their Own’.
There was an awkward moment at the start of the show, where Ranganathan made his feelings towards RVP crystal clear.
“You must be excited, as an Arsenal fan, to be on the same show as one of Man United’s greatest ever strikers,” host James Corden teased.
Ranganathan then turned to Van Persie and said: “You’re a pr*ck, mate”.
He then added: “I just hope he sticks around for the whole show, he'll probably go to A Question of Sport in the ad break”.
Van Persie didn’t reply. He simply tried to laugh it off, although you do wonder whether he felt a little bit offended by the jibe.
Watch the clip here…
Van Persie, who has been signed up as a pundit for BT Sport after ending his playing career earlier this year, recently explained his decision to leave Arsenal seven years ago.
"You can compare me being at Arsenal to being married. Me and my wife - Arsenal - were married for eight years,” he said.
"After eight years, my wife, possibly got a bit tired of me. Those are the facts.
"If Arsenal are not offering you a new deal...you can have different views on things but the fact is Arsenal never offered me a new deal.
"Then you have to look around. I was ambitious. I still wanted to win the league. That is life."
He added: "I ended up having three options. One option abroad disappeared quickly. Then it was City or Manchester United.
"What people don't know, during the transfer, loads of things are happening behind the scenes. You have to take a lot on and make a choice based on what your targets are but also deal with the facts.
"One of the main facts was that Arsenal got tired of me. That was the starting point - they didn't offer me a new deal. We had loads of chats with Wenger , with [Ivan] Gazidis .
"They gave me no decision to make."News Now - Sport News