'Van Persie knew staying at Arsenal meant zero trophies' - Dutchman's former coach

Manchester United striker had made up his mind to leave Arsenal regardless of suitors, claims former coach.

The most vocal David Moyes critic - that isn't a Manchester United fan at least - is former Netherlands fitness coacj Raymond Verheijen.

An outspoken critic of United's tactics and training methods this season, he has been speaking to FourFourTwo regarding Robin van Persie.

He claimed he never would have joined the Red Devils if he knew Ferguson would retire, but had made up his mind to leave Arsenal regardless.

He stated: "He had a lot of loyalty to Arsenal and it was difficult for him - it was a painful move. Ideally he would have finished his career at Arsenal winning some trophies.

“He knew that was not going to happen, so he had to make that move. He made a painful, but brilliant move. He had a very successful first year, wins the title and then thinks 'let’s go for the Champions League now'.

“Then, all of a sudden, Ferguson retires. How do you think he felt? If he had known that was going to happen he still would have left Arsenal, because staying there would mean zero trophies. He would definitely have moved but would have more than likely gone to Barcelona or Bayern Munich.”

So given his desire to leave Arsenal, and the other options available to him, how may it have worked out differently elsewhere?

Manchester City: City were the only strong contenders for his signature from the Premier League apart from United, and many believed that when he chose the Red Devils, that's when the 2012/13 title was won. In reality it wasn't much of a choice, City's board dallied and much to the anger of Roberto Mancini failed to back the manager until deadline day came around, and he splurged money on Javi Garcia and Maicon. Van Persie swung the title race for United netting the winner against City early on, and the noisy neighbours never caught up. Had he signed for City, they may have won the league, Mancini would have kept his job - and Sir Alex Ferguson may still be there trying to topple United's rivals.

Juventus: The reigning Serie A champions desperately wanted to sign the Dutchman, but struggled to get the money together to reach Arsenal's demands. Yet had United been refused by Van Persie point blank, Arsenal may have been forced to consider a lower offer. The Old Lady's search for a striker got so desperate they had to go begging to loan an out of shape Nicklas Bendtner to add to their attack. Yet despite the Dane getting injured early on, they won the title anyway. Had Van Persie signed in Turin, his quest for medals would have been a formality, and they look set to win yet another this season, unlike United.

Real Madrid: Madrid were seen as a club very much in the background in the Van Persie hunt, never really making good on any rumoured interest. But what if he had chosen to head to the Bernabeu? Well he would have been playing under Jose Mourinho, who like Ferguson would have left him hanging after just one campaign. However the replacement in Carlo Ancelotti is a significant upgrade on David Moyes who would have arguably been better suited to his style than Mourinho was. The chances are right now he would have been loving it. The thought of Van Persie in a side alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale would have seen him score a hatful - and just think last season he would have had Mesut Ozil there too.

image: © cactusbeetroot

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