It can sometimes surprise people when they find out that Robin van Persie was in the Premier League for 11 seasons. It feels like he was around for even longer, despite the fact that 11 seasons at two top clubs in the league is no mean feat, and is testament to his quality. Van Persie scored 146 league goals in his time on English shores, winning the Golden Boot in two consecutive seasons for two different teams, and also ending up in eighth place on Arsenal’s all-time top scorers’ list. If that does not define a Premier League legend, we don’t know what else does.
The Dutchman had broken through at Arsenal at a very young age, having joined the Gunners from Feyenoord as a 21-year-old. While he initially started out wide, mainly because Thierry Henry was still at the club and in his pomp, he came into his own after the Frenchman left and he became the main man, alongside the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, and for a short period of time, Niklas Bendtner. Van Persie possessed perhaps the most powerful and lethal left foot in the Premier League, capable of hammering the ball in from 30 yards out, as well as delicate chips and caressed finishes into the bottom corner. While you will find odds for the top goalscorer for next season in the league at sportwetten-deutschland.de and other betting websites, there is unlikely to be another player who will win the Golden Boot in successive seasons for two different clubs.
Back in 2012, van Persie was the subject of a very public tussle between the two Manchester clubs, as he had made it clear that he wanted to leave Arsenal to stand a chance of winning the league. Despite his goalscoring exploits, the club had not managed to win a league title during his time there, with only a solitary FA Cup win to provide some trophy-winning happiness. He eventually chose the red half, and proceeded to almost single-handedly bring the title back to Old Trafford with a brilliant display of goalscoring throughout the season. Van Persie arguably never lived up to the heights of that debut season during the remainder of his time at United, but then, it is telling that Manchester United have arguably failed to replace him so far, while Arsenal only recently managed to get the volume of his goals in their team through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That goes to show the impact he had on both teams, and the sheer volume of goals he scored.
The Dutchman did burn his bridges at Arsenal due to the nature of his transfer, but he managed to get a title win out of it, so it can be argued that he would have taken that bargain at any point in his career. He was not just all about goalscoring though, possessing a very good first touch and more than decent passing ability, while his movement dragged defenders all over the pitch, opening up space for his teammates. He was quite the prototype for the modern forward, who is usually played alone without a supporting striker, and yet has to score goals while also contributing to build-up play and defensively off the ball. Van Persie did all of that, but his primary currency was in goals.