Robin van Persie admits he wanted to check if the “older players” at Man Utd were going to be accepting of him before leaving Arsenal to move to Old Trafford.
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The ex-Netherlands international controversially left Arsenal for Manchester United in 2012 and helped the Red Devils win the Premier League in his first season.
Van Persie made the move to Old Trafford for a reported £22.5million after scoring 132 goals for the Gunners over a period of eight years at the club.
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It was a huge decision for Van Persie at the time and he made sure no stone was left unturned as he planned his move to Man Utd.
“There was a question from my point of view as well, before I signed, just to check how the older players were looking at me coming to play there,” Van Persie told United’s official website (via The Metro).
“I wanted to know if they were ok with it or not, because we had been competing for the last eight years and we are all human. What was important for me was that the guys would accept me as the player and person that I am. After I checked that, everything was positive.”
When asked how he checked if his new senior team-mates liked him, Van Persie added: “Through [Rene] Meulensteen, the assistant coach. He did that and everyone was very positive. After that, it was like the training sessions were different – because it is different with every coach, it is not better or worse, it is just different.
“But what I noticed with myself, if you look at my body for example, of course during the first couple of years with Arsenal, when I was 25 and 26, if you compare that body physically to the body I had after a year in Manchester, there was more muscles.
“It was stronger, you could see it from my upper body, from my bum, there were a couple more kilos there and it was all muscle, which must be – because I sometimes I ask myself the question why that was – because of the training sessions and the gym sessions that we did.”