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Wenger: Van Persie left Arsenal for trophies

Arsene Wenger believes that Robin van Persie’s decision to leave Arsenal for Manchester United was motivated by a desire to win trophies

The Dutchman makes his first return to the Emirates since the move on Sunday and Wenger has admitted that he was entirely unable to convince Van Persie his future was in London.

“There’s a kind of timescale – like for a woman who has no baby at 39. She starts to think I have not much time left now,” the Arsenal boss said.

“It is difficult for all the players when a player does not want to be here, to force him to be here and know that at the end of the season the club does not get anything with knowing that he might not contribute as well. So you are twice a loser.

“We have lost some other big players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, they had won with the club and they were around 30 or 31. He could help us to win because we haven’t won for a few years. That he left before that, was frustrating for us.”

The Dutchman has been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year Award in recognition of his campaign, but the Arsenal boss revealed his selection would be another of United’s stars on the shortlist.
“I would choose [Michael] Carrick,” Wenger said.

“He is a quality passer. He could play for Barcelona, he would be perfectly suited to their game. He has a good vision and is an intelligent player, and it is for what he has achieved in his whole career as well. It is this year or never for him, just because he is 31 and after, they go down.

“You have a few other choices. Robin stayed for a while without scoring and the PFA vote happened during that period so that could go against him. You had [Luis] Suarez but he has bitten into his reward. You have Gareth Bale.

“I think Carrick is an underrated player in England and sometimes not only should the goalscorer be rewarded but the real players at the heart of the game.”
Sat 27 Apr, 2013
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