Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been describing what an exceptional player and individual Robin Van Persie is.
Now entering the twilight of his career, 34-year-old Van Persie is currently back at his boyhood side Feyenoord, the club from which Wenger brought him to the Gunners as a promising youngster back in 2004.
The former Netherlands international would blossom into one of the most lethal finishers the Premier League has ever seen, scoring 96 goals for the Gunners before controversially moving to Manchester United in 2012, where he almost single handedly inspired Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to the league title.
Van Persie’s former coach and mentor Wenger has now been discussing what it was that made the prolific striker such a special player in his prime.
“Robin is an exceptional player and an exceptional person,” the former Arsenal manager told Dutch outlet De Telegraaf.
“I no longer work with him, but he will only have developed further. And the Robin who left me after so many years was already quite different from the Robin that I found in the second team of Feyenoord at the time. I have experienced the evolution and the revolution of the football player and man.
“We could talk about football or other matters for an eternity. I loved his honesty. He had the ability to analyze everything with his football brain. He went very deeply. He asked a lot of himself and his environment. He was always looking for the truth. How is it exactly, what is the best now?
“What I appreciate as a person in him is that he is not superficial.
“As a player, he trained and played football with me at an unprecedented intensity. I think he has not changed anything at Feyenoord. That intensity is also in ‘being human’. When it comes to perfecting the group, the team on the field or team spirit, there is no room for jokes with him. He demands the utmost of everyone and dares to name everything.”
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