Arsenal: Robin van Persie was burned by Romesh Ranganathan

  • Rob Swan
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Many Arsenal fans will never forgive Robin van Persie for the way he walked out on the club for Manchester United in the summer of 2012.

Van Persie, Arsenal’s star man and captain, was idolised by the Gunners faithful.

He’d been with the club since 2004, had just won the Premier League’s Golden Boot award after scoring 30 league goals that season, and was widely regarded as the best striker in England.

But the Dutchman horrified fans by revealing in July 2012, via a public letter, that he would not be extending his contract with the Gunners.

Several weeks later, Van Persie completed a shock £24 million transfer to rivals United, admitting: “I always listen to the little boy inside of me in these situations – when you have to make the harder decisions in life. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Man United.”

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Although he destroyed his reputation with Arsenal’s supporters, he gained even more fans at Old Trafford.

And less than 12 months after joining the Red Devils, Van Persie got his hands on the Premier League trophy, scoring 26 league goals and winning a second consecutive Golden Boot award in the process.

He left Old Trafford in 2015, having scored 58 goals in 105 games for the Red Devils.

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Van Persie then spent three seasons with Fenerbahce before ending his career back at Feyenoord in 2019.

Shortly after he brought the curtain down on his career, Van Persie appeared on Sky Sports’ A League of Their Own.

On the opposing team was comedian Romesh Ranganathan, who spoke for all Arsenal fans with his opening comments to the man who famously ditched the Gunners.

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Presenter James Cordon teased Ranganathan by saying: “Now. Romesh, you must be excited as an Arsenal fan to be on the same show as one of Man United’s greatest ever strikers?”

Romesh then turned to Van Persie and uttered the words: “You’re a p***k, mate.”

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He then added: “Great player, I just hope he sticks around for the whole show. He’ll probably go to A Question of Sport in the ad-break.”

Watch the funny video here…

All Van Persie could do was laugh it off, although it did look like Romesh’s dig stung a bit.

Why did Van Persie leave Arsenal for Man Utd?

Also in 2019, the former Netherlands international told BT Sport, per FourFourTwo: "You can compare me being at Arsenal to being married. Me and my wife - Arsenal - were married for eight years.

"After eight years, my wife, possibly got a bit tired of me. Those are the facts.

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"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.

"I ended up having three options. One option abroad disappeared quickly. Then it was [Manchester] 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.

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"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 [Arsene] Wenger, with [Ivan] Gazidis."

While Van Persie must wish he could have left Arsenal on better terms, there’s no doubt in his mind that he made the right decision.

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