Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United last summer had destabilised the team and had an impact on their form during the early months of the previous campaign.
The Dutch international had a brilliant run in his final season at the Emirates, where he bagged 30 goals and nine assists for the Gunners. He won the Premier League Golden Boot and had then urged to leave the North London club duo their lack of ambition to win trophies.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson pushed the boat and signed Van Persie for a transfer fee of £24million. The Dutchman bagged 26 goals for the English champions during the last season and went on to win the Golden Boot for the second year in a row.
The former Arsenal skipper was the difference between the Red Devils and their neighbours Manchester City as the Old Trafford club went on to win the Premier League title last season.
While United won the top flight football competition in England, Arsenal were struggling to make it to top four and it took them the final match of the last season against Newcastle United to seal a place in the Champions League.
The Gunners’ piped their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a place in the Champions League as Arsenal, along with United, City and Chelsea were the four teams to qualify for this year’s Europe’s elite club competition.
“We lost Van Persie, created a lot of unrest and destabilised team. But from November to May team showed fantastic mental strength. From the end of March to today, we have lost just one match, that created a huge emotion,” Wenger said.
“We have huge ambition to win the league this season. We were restricted financially and had to be strict, but we have come out of that.”
“However, we have to defend our style of play and values, that comes from developing our own players, with youth policy and that should be core of our club,” Arsenal manager concluded.
Meanwhile, Arsenal sit on top of the league table with 16 points from seven games while United are ninth with 10 points after playing the same number of games as the Gunners.