Thomas Vermaelen acknowledging that he had expected that Robin van Persie to go on to become “a hero” at Arsenal, and not leave the club (as he did) for another.
He believes van Persie would’ve gone on to become a legend at the Emirate Stadium. “I wanted him to remain at Arsenal, of course, as he was the PFA Player of the Year in his last season with us. He’s had a brilliant season, the best season of his career, so I wanted him to stay and be a legend,” Vermaelen said to.
The Dutch player’s transfer to Manchester United in 2012 was a major disappointment to the long-time Arsenal defender: “I knew he was going to go in the end, but to hear that he had suddenly left for Manchester United was a big surprise.”
“It was a surprise he left,” he continued. “Of course, he has a strong character so he couldn’t change his position. I think that’s a great position, because that makes him the person and the player he is. You couldn’t change his opinion, he made it that he was going to go.”