By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger admits that Robin van Persie’s departure has deprived Arsenal of a great player - but he says the Club had no choice but to sell.

The Holland international is poised to seal his move to Manchester United after making it clear that he would not extend his contract at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger is disappointed to lose his captain, but insists his squad has the quality to thrive without the 29-year-old this season.

“We regret that we have lost a great player and for one simple reason - he only had one year left on his contract. He wanted to go,” said Wenger.

“We anticipated this situation might happen, therefore we bought Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

“[Selling to a rival] is not what we wanted but there was not much choice. We had only one club really interested at the level we thought would be acceptable and that was Manchester United.

“At the end of the day, [selling] was the only decision we could make.”

Wenger says he will enter the market if necessary before the close of the transfer window, but he is delighted with the business he has already done this summer.

“We have already invested the money because we bought three players - [Santi] Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud,” he said.

“Therefore if needed we will invest more, but if you look at the number of players we have, we have a massive squad. We have plenty of players who have no chance to play at all.

“At the moment I believe we have what is needed to be ambitious and to play our game.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
17 Aug 2012