Former Arsenal midfielder, Emmanuel Frimpong has disclosed how huge the impact of Van Persie’s departure was on Gunners.
Emmanuel Frimpong says Gunners suffered a huge loss during the period Robin Van Persie joined their big time rival, Manchester United.
RVP spent eight years with Arsenal winning several personal awards among which was the PFA Player of the Year which he won on his last season at Emirates Stadium.
Persie also won the league’s highest goalscorer award on his final year at Arsenal and a good start at Old Trafford had him defend the title as he topped the scoring chart once more.
Having been considered the best player in the Premier League at that time, Van Persie helped Arsenal win larger number of their games as he scored most of the goals.
In 2012, Van Persie joined Manchester United in what Frimpong described to be a ‘disappointing deal for Arsenal’. Persie also helped the Red Devils get crowned the League winners during his first year at Old Trafford.
“I think the problem for Arsenal has always been how do they keep hold of their best players? It’s a problem with Arsenal,” Emmanuel Frimpong told MetaRatings .
“I hope that trend has finished with Arsenal, because when Robin left, he was probably the best player in the Premier League at that time, and it took a lot of quality out of the team and Arsenal suffered again.
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“That was the problem with Arsenal at that time; that we kept losing our best players and it was disappointing.
“When Robin was at Arsenal that year, he was fantastic – he was the captain, he was the top goalscorer, he was the best player in the Premier League. And for him to go to Man Utd was quite disappointing.
“The club knew better, and I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but I think there was a bit of a problem.
“I listened to an interview with Robin a couple of weeks ago, and he spoke about the situation at the time, you just have to respect the man in his decision.
“Sometimes these things work like that. You just have to wish him well because he served Arsenal very well when he was there.”
Frimpong also referenced to Cesc Fabregas’ departure but claimed Fabregas’ was never felt as much as Persie’s was despite that the 32-year-old had captained Gunners for three seasons before joining Barcelona.
“I think I was more disappointed when Robin went to Man Utd because at that time he was the captain and he was the best player in the Premier League,” Frimpong added.
“And losing Robin was much more of a blow than losing Cesc because Robin was bringing goals to the game, he was winning us games.
“He was playing really well for us at the time so I feel like he was a big blow at the time, and more than when Cesc left. These things happen in football, and you can’t control it. It’s something that is difficult for the club when you have players who are on less than a year’s contract, they want to leave and you want to make money; it makes sense.”
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However, Frimpong was truthful enough to admit to the fact that despite Arsenal was very good then with RVP, they still wouldn’t have lifted the Premier League trophy with Man United around, not to talk of the UEFA Champions League.
“To be honest, and as an Arsenal fan, I don’t think so, because the players we had at the time were not good enough to win the Premier League,” he said.
“Man Utd had the squad; they had the players. You can’t win the league on Robin van Persie alone. They had Rio Ferdinand, [Wayne] Rooney was there at the time, and they had quality players to win the Premier League. Even as an Arsenal fan, we didn’t have that quality.
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“We had good players, but they had great players, and even if Robin had stayed I don’t think we could have won the Premier League.”
The 27-year-old Kumasi born midfielder announced his retirement from football in March 2019, almost exactly 2 years after he signed a 2-years contract with Cypriot side, Ermis Aradippou.