Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp spoke exclusively to the north London club’s Lockdown podcast (via Arsenal.com) when he was asked about how Robin Van Persie was perceived before signing for the Gunners for £4.05 million form Dutch club Feyenoord back on July 1st 2004, as per Transfermarkt.
Is Van Persie an Arsenal legend?
Speaking about the former Manchester United and Netherlands international striker, Bergkamp said on the podcast:
“With Robin van Persie, he had some problems in Holland with his old team but as soon as he came there was a connection. The image he had in Holland was that he was very arrogant, that he was the sort of player who had the wrong attitude, but as soon as he came he had a lot of respect for us.
“He started training sessions and he didn’t have a big mouth; he was learning, asking questions, my wife got on with his wife, slowly you build a relationship. It was mainly on the pitch, I was trying to lead by example and he mentioned a few times that he was learning from that.
“Off the pitch as well, we had a few talks about certain things, about the Dutch national team and that sort of stuff, where he could learn from. I enjoyed just sharing my experience in those situations.”
It is perhaps surprising to hear how negatively perceived Van Persie was back in his home country, especially from his own club, to which he scored a total of 21 goals and made a relatively impressive 10 assists for a striker in 76 appearances in all competitions across three consecutive seasons before he joined, as per Transfermarkt.
Being a fellow Dutchman and playing in a similar position, perhaps it is unsurprising to hear that Bergkamp and Van Persie got on so well both on and off the pitch, and it seems as if the latter took it in his stride to learn from him based off of the numbers that he produced for AFC.
The 36-year old had managed to score a rather impressive 132 times and produce 56 assists in 278 games in all competitions across eight consecutive campaigns (via Transfermarkt).
Van Persie also managed to win the FA Cup with Arsenal in his debut term in 2005, whilst also winning the Community Shield in the same year and the year before, as he also picked up the north London club’s player of the year award in his final season as captain before signing for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man United before the 2012/13 campaign.
RVP may not have been remembered fondly due to this transfer, but he certainly served the Gunners well.
Gooners, what is your best memory of Van Persie? Comment below!
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