The blockbuster summer signing of Robin van Persie sent shock waves through the Premier League as the prolific Dutchman joined Manchester United from bitter rivals Arsenal in a £25 million deal.
The 29-year-old, who won the 2011/12 Premier League golden boot and Player of the Season, has spearheaded United’s charge this season with 23 goals in all competitions.
But van Persie has revealed that if not for a red card he earned whilst United scouts were watching him at Feyenoord, he could of made the move to Old Trafford a lot sooner.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, van Persie said: “Sir Alex Ferguson once sent a scout over to Holland to watch me when I was a young player at Feyenoord.
“But I was sent off that afternoon and the scout went back to England with that in his report.
“Sir Alex mentioned that to me when I arrived at United.
“He felt I was not yet ready for a move to a big English club all those years ago – and he was right.
“I said to the boss ‘you were right then, but I am ready now’.”
At Arsenal, Robin van Persie scored 132 goals in 277 appearances between 2004-2012 but persistent injuries meant he only scored 20 or more goals in three out of eight seasons.
Since moving to Old Trafford, he has already netted 23 and despite a mini goal drought will hopefully go on to make that 30 before the end of the season. As van Persie said, he is ready to be at United now and we bought him at his peak.
After seven years of no trophies, van Persie is ready to win some silverware and admits that he is disappointed to have missed out on the treble opportunity this season.
“My goal was to win the Treble,” he continued. “I wanted the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.
“Now we only have the Double and, yes, I think we could win the title at Arsenal or even against Manchester City.
“But I really don’t care where we win it. I just want to grab that league title.”
Technically, United could win the league with a win away at Arsenal if results go a certain way. That would be a bitter pill for Arsene Wenger and the fans to swallow but is something that all United fans would revel in if it happened.
No matter where the league is decided this season, the impact of van Persie on the squad has been nothing short of special. It isn’t often that United bring in an established world class player into the side but on this occasion, it has proved to be one of Ferguson’s shrewdest signings to date.