Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday August 16 2012
Arsene Wenger has admitted his team and his new strikers in particular face a huge task in replacing the outgoing Robin van Persie. The Arsenal manager also revealed that he wanted to sell the Dutchman to a club on the continent but there wasn't sufficient interest.
Speaking to TF1, Wenger said, 'To strengthen an enemy is the other negative point of this loss," he said. "We wanted to avoid it but we couldn`t. Honestly, I`d rather sell him abroad, to Paris Saint-Germain for example.
"Manchester United know him and know his qualities. He`s really an exceptional player, believe me."
Van Persie is a great player so it`s always sad to lose such a player. But we must consider the economic reality and the will of the player.
"When you can`t succeed in extending the contract of a player that is in its last year, there is no other way but to let him go. It`s sad because he played for us for eight years. He`s 29 now. He was 21 when he came and it`s another bitter pill to swallow.
"A lot has happened before and we survived it all, but this is a real challenge because Van Persie scored 30 (Premier League) goals in a year, almost one per game. It`s a tough challenge for our new forwards to replace him."
Wenger admitted he got a good deal, but that he takes little consolation from that, 'The economic part of it is the only satisfaction. But money doesn`t go out on the field and play, players do,' he said.
"It will give more chance to Giroud. When Van Persie is here, his name is the first on the team-sheet and the others follow. So there`s a void to fill."
Date:Thursday August 16 2012
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