Robin van Persie endeared himself immediately with Manchester United fans after his stunning 30 goal debut season and Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated in his new autobiography how the Dutchman took a lower wage to come to Old Trafford.
He had more lucrative offers on the table from Manchester City and Juventus but chose to move to United, a move that was vindicated as he won the Premier League title in his first season at United after eight years of failure at Arsenal.
The 30-year-old has struggled to recapture his blistering first season form and that may well be in part due to Ferguson’s absence because he loved working with the Scot but he has showed signs that he will get back to his best, least not with his hat-trick for Holland away on international duty.
In an extract from his autobiography, Ferguson said: “He took a lower wage to come to place where he could be most successful.
“I always remember Arsene saying to me about RVP: “You don’t realise what a good player you’re getting’. Arsene was right.”
Ferguson also went into detail about his negotiations with Arsene Wenger over his valuation and admitted that he was ‘incredulous’ that United weren’t willing to pay £25 million for him.
He said: “I warned Arsene we would never get to £25m. Arsene was incredulous. He could not believe that Manchester United wouldn’t stretch to £25m for such a player.
“I told him again: I wouldn’t go to £25m. Arsene asked what my best offer would be. Answer: £22m. The reply was that Arsenal would take £22.5m and a further £1.5m if we won the Champions League or Premier Leaguer during the period of his contract. Deal done.”
Van Persie may have been an expensive injury prone 29-year-old but he was the signing of the season and one of the best in Ferguson’s era. Many Arsenal fans have slated him as a money grabber but given that he turned down bigger wages at other clubs to join United, it is clear his prerogative was simply to win.