'I wanted Van Persie to stay and be a legend'

Thomas Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen

Robin Van Persie’s summer departure in 2012 sent shockwaves through north London.

But, as Thomas Vermaelen told our In Lockdown podcast, it wasn’t just our fans who were surprised to see our former captain end up in Manchester.

"It was a surprise he left," Vermaelen said. "I knew he was going to go eventually but to hear that he'd all of a sudden left for Manchester United was a big surprise.
"I wanted him to stay at Arsenal of course, because in his last season with us he was the PFA Player of the Year. He had a great season, the best season of his career, so I wanted him to stay and be a legend.
"Of course, he's strong in his character so he couldn't change his mind. I think that's a good thing because that makes him the person and player he is. You couldn't change his mind, he'd made it up that he was going to go."

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