Arsene Wenger was right to sell Robin van Persie, then. When the former Arsenal captain completed his £24million move to arch-rivals Manchester United, dark clouds descended over the north London club, with Gunners fans baying for the frugal Frenchman's blood.
As if the sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri the previous summer wasn't bad enough, this time the Gunners boss had gone too far, ripping the heart of his current team out.
Irrelevant were the acquisitions of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud - two strikers who scored a combined total of 39 goals in the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 last season - for they would never be able to improve on the return of the influential talisman they were replacing.
To make matters worse, Van Persie has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in his first three games for United, including a sensational hat-trick in the 3-2 comeback victory against Southampton the previous weekend.
Reporting for international duty with the Netherlands last week, the 29-year-old continued his fine early season form, with a goal in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Turkey on Friday, before retaining his place in head coach Louis van Gaal's starting line-up for last night's clash against Hungary.
But, after the Dutch forward failed to emerge from the tunnel for the second-half of the 4-1 victory in Budapest, news broke that Van Persie had been taken off as a precaution, after sustaining a thigh injury.
Van Gaal played down concerns over the fitness of the injury-prone striker, insisting he was merely erring on the side of caution: "We took off Robin for precautionary measures," he told the SBS6 television channel. "It doesn't seem to be too serious, but you never know. We didn't want to take any risks."
Van Persie endured a horrendous injury record during his time at Arsenal, and the news will be a concern for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who is already without fellow striker Wayne Rooney.
Red Devils fans will fear the worst, hoping their headline summer signing isn't ruled out too long, while Gunners supporters can be afforded a wry smile, after flogging their historically crocked skipper.
After moving to north London in 2004 in a £2.75million deal from Feyenoord, Van Persie made a total of 279 appearances for Arsenal (211 starts and 68 as substitute) over the next eight years, with an average of 26 starts per season. Below is a breakdown of the player's full injury record, courtesy of physioroom.com:
|September 2012||Thigh injury||May 2008||Thigh Muscle Strain|
|February 2012||Groin strain||April 2008||Thigh Muscle Strain|
|August 2011||Ankle/Foot injury||January 2008||Thigh Muscle Strain|
|February 2011||Knee injury||Deceber 2007||Thigh Muscle Strain|
|February 2011||Hamstring injury||October 2007||Knee injury|
|February 2011||Flu||January 2007||Metatarsal Fracture|
|August 2010||Ankle/Foot injury||November 2006||Ankle/Foot injury|
|June 2010||Ankle/Foot injury||September 2006||Hip/Thigh Injury|
|November 2009||Sprained Ankle||February 2006||Ankle/Foot injury|
|September 2009||Knee injury||December 2005||Ankle/Foot injury|
|April 2009||Groin strain||October 2005||Knee injury|
|March 2009||Groin strain||February 2005||Ankle/Foot injury|
|October 2008||Hamstring injury||November 2004||Sprained Ankle|
|August 2008||Ankle/Foot injury||August 2004||Sprained Ankle|
2004-05: Van Persie made 41 appearances in all competitions, but his debut season was cut-short by a recurring ankle problem. After spraining it twice on two separate occasions, his campaign was over by February after suffering a more serious injury to the same area.
2005-06: Suffered a knee injury, and two more ankle injuries. Arsenal fans are starting to realise why Van Persie is referred to as 'glass ankles' in his homeland. He made 38 appearances in total.
2006-07: Van Persie suffered a hip injury followed by a metatarsal fracture then another knee injury before going down with a thigh muscle strain. 31 appearances, in all competitions.
2007-08: Managed to make it to January before injury set in, Van Persie then suffered three thigh muscle strains in quick succession. 23 appearances, in all competitions.
2008-09: Van Persie missed the start of the season with another ankle injury. He still made 45 appearances despite suffering a hamstring injury and a couple of groin strains towards the end of the campaign.
2009-10: The year of the famous horse placenta procedure, in a bid to cure Van Persie's ongoing knee complaint. He missed five months of the season with torn ligaments, before returning in April to feature in the last few games, making just 20 appearances in all competitions.
2010-11: Van Persie was ruled out from August until November with another ankle injuy. He caught flu in February as well as pulling a hamstring and then injuring his knee, making 33 appearances in total.
2011-2012: Last season was Van Persie's most successful, both in terms of games and goals. Despite an early ankle knock in August, the Dutchman remained injury-free until February when he suffered a slight groin strain. He made 48 appearances in total, and scored 37 goals.
It 's unclear how long Van Persie's latest setback will sideline the striker for, but he will almost certainly miss Manchester United's weekend Premier League clash against Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford. Time will tell whether the fee paid to sign the injury-plagued star, was money well spent.
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