Speaking as an analyst on BT Sport's coverage of Arsenal against Burnley, Robin van Persie explained his decision to leave Arsenal after eight years to join their bitter rivals, Manchester United.
Regardless of your opinion of @Persie_Official, just give this revealing interview 7 minutes of your Saturday as he tells his side of the story about leaving Arsenal.
As he says, it’s taken him almost a decade to be ready to talk about it... pic.twitter.com/2uHbPuEVA3
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) August 17, 2019
The Dutch striker likened his relationship with Arsenal to a 'marriage', opening up about his final year at the Emirates where he was club captain and scored 30 Premier League goals. Van Persie said:
Me and my wife, Arsenal, were married for eight years. Then after eight years, my wife, possibly got a bit tired of me. Those are the facts. The fact is Arsenal didn't offer me a new deal. So what do you do then? You have a look around. I was ambitious, I wanted to win the league. I ended up having three options. One option was abroad and disappeared after that. I then had Manchester City and Manchester United.
Van Persie said that he made it clear to the Arsenal hierarchy that he wanted to stay at the Emirates, but at no point was he offered a new deal. When choosing between the two Manchester clubs, van Persie said that United gave him the best 'feeling', stating:
Sir Alex gave me the best feeling. I really wanted to win. It was a challenge and that's what you go for. You look at the team, you look at the coach. You look at it privately as well. Where my family would live, where my kids go to school. You take all these things with you. I went on a feeling and I still stand by that.
He went onto say that he is proud the time he spent at both clubs. His co-pundit, Joe Cole, marked van Persie's departure from Arsenal as the beginning of the Gunners demise, as Arsenal would have never sold their best player to one of their biggest rivals beforehand.
Arsenal fans on Twitter didn't seem to buy van Persie's explanation. They cited a letter van Persie wrote to Arsenal fans, where the Dutchman stated that he would not extend his contract with Arsenal.
In an open letter to fans on his website, https://t.co/qNT2PL4Tvt, he wrote: "I've thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract."🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔so whos lying
Arsenal issued the a statement after later in the day: "We have to respect Robin's decision
— Corcaigh Abú (@mussystephen) August 17, 2019
The Internet never forgets, Robin.