Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has claimed that the club's decision to allow Robin van Persie to join Manchester United in 2012 left him questioning the Gunners' ambitions.
Sagna and Van Persie were teammates at Arsenal before the Dutch forward opted not to sign a new deal in north London, and instead move to Manchester United.
United had just missed out on the title to local rivals Man City during the 2011/12 season, but following the arrival of Van Persie, the Red Devils reclaimed the Premier League crown - and in some style.
The forward won the Golden Boot award during his first season in Manchester, scoring a hugely impressive 26 league goals and providing a further 15 assists to guide United towards the title. That season, the Red Devils finished 11 points ahead of second-placed City.
Van Persie's scintillating form at his new club left Arsenal fans continuing to wonder just why the club didn't fight harder to keep him. Former Gunner Sagna has now opened up on the topic, admitting that 'no-one' understood why the north Londoners allowed him to leave, adding that it was like a 'statement' from the club.
“I got upset, not when [Cesc] Fabregas left - because that was quite an obvious move - not when [Samir] Nasri left, but when Robin left. It was like a statement from the club. He left in a way that no-one understood because he was flying,” Sagna told Goal.
“He was a different type of player. An animal on the pitch, a goalscoring machine. When he left, I wondered why Arsenal didn’t try more to keep him.
“Even if they had to spend lots of money, just do it because you have to spend money to get another player. And if you want to win something, it’s going to take time for that player to adapt."
The 37-year-old went to add that he was also unsure as to why Alex Song was also allowed to depart for Barcelona during the same window. He added:
Van Persie himself recently explained the stringent discipline process that was in place at Man Utd when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, detailing what the legendary boss did after United failed to secure the title by slipping up against City - a defeat that reduced their gap at the top to 12 points.
Source : 90min