Arsene Wenger was right to sell Robin van Persie in 2012

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Was Arsene Wenger right to sell Robin van Persie to title rivals Manchester United back in 2012?

At the time, the answer to this question was a guaranteed "no" from all Arsenal fans. Many questioned and slammed the Arsenal manager for this decision which saw the Gunners losing one of their top players at a time when results were poor and Arsenal were suffering from trophy-less seasons.

Wenger was seen as short sighted by many. Now however, with hindsight, arguably every single Arsenal fan would agree that the Arsenal manager made the right decision. 


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Van Persie played for Arsenal for eight years where he was mentored and taught by the great Thierry Henry.

Wenger knew when he bought Van Persie from Feyenoord just how much quality he was getting. Arguably with one of the best left foots the Premier League has ever witnessed, the Dutchman was loved and adored by all Arsenal fans.

Van Persie used to be great

He made 194 appearances for the Gunners scoring 96 goals. He was prolific, skillful and intelligent. When Henry left Arsenal for Barcelona, Van Persie became the main striker for Arsenal alongside the likes of Emanuel Adebayor.

In 2012 when he declared that he would not be signing a contract extension with Arsenal, it was then that it was announced he would be signing for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.

This single decision was slammed by the Arsenal fans who felt that firstly the £24 million was not enough,  they questioned why they sold to a direct title contender and fierce rival. At the time certainly it seemed that Ferguson and United has secured a real coup and it proved to be so as United won the Premier League in 2012/13 in Van Persie's first season at the club. 

2012/13 proved to be an incredible year for Van Persie and it seemed that Sir Alex Ferguson had managed to get the best out of the Dutchman. The supporters of Manchester United voted Van Persie as the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for the 2012/13 season and he was nominated by UEFA into the 10-man shortlist for the 2012/13 Best Player in Europe award.

The following two seasons for Van Persie, however, were the exact opposite. He was an integral member of the squad David Moyes inherited in 2013/14 where Manchester United did not even qualify for the Champions League.

Van Persie scored 12 goals that season in the Premier League which was a significant drop from the previous season. When David Moyes was removed from his position as Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal stepped in in 2014. That season, just passed, was a poor one for Van Persie on a personal level where he managed to score only 10 goals.

With Manchester United now agreeing a fee of around £4.7 million for Van Persie to Turkish side Fenerbahce it would appear that Van Persie has certainly fallen away from what he once was.

Wenger got it right

Under Arsene Wenger, Van Persie was mentored and fathered to such a degree that he became one of the top strikers in world football. In the season 2011/12 for Arsenal Van Persie scored 30 goals and had an incredible season.

Arguably, and as most Arsenal fans will agree, his lack of loyalty towards Wenger was shocking and his move to United was not taken well by the Gunners faithful. 

Although Van Persie managed to claim a Premier League trophy for United in 2012/13, it had a sour taste for all Arsenal fans. It appeared that the Dutchman only moved for personal success and had forgotten about what Arsene Wenger had done for him. With his career now arguably coming to its end, Van Persie will spend next season in Turkey.

Therefore, although Manchester United won the Premier League with Van Persie, comparison between the two clubs now, it would appear that Arsene Wenger certainly made the right decision.

Arsenal's squad is now in pole position to claim a Premier League trophy and the money made off the transfer of Van Persie has helped to build the squad the Gunners now possess.

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Arsene Wenger
Robin Van Persie
Manchester United

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