Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has told Goal that Robin van Persie’s departure in 2012 upset him more than any other during his time with the Gunners.
The Dutch striker was allowed to join fierce rivals Manchester United eight years ago in a £24 million move.
He had served Arsenal with distinction and went onto secure a Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team during 2012/13.
Sagna played 284 times for Arsenal helping the club to an FA Cup during the 2013/14 campaign.
He saw lots of players come and go during his seven years in north London but Van Persie hurt him the post.
He told Goal: “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.
“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 and keep him more.”
Sagna joined Manchester City in 2014 and enjoyed three years at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal lived to regret selling Van Persie in emphatic fashion, as the Dutchman fired 30 goals during the following campaign.
He claimed the Premier League winners medal that had proved elusive to him during his time with the Gunners.
That will have undoubtedly stung Arsenal supporters who worshipped him at the Emirates Stadium.
In 278 appearances for the Gunners, Van Persie fired 132 goals. Ultimately, however, his time at Arsenal will always be tainted with the fact he left to play for Manchester United.