Former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong has come out and explained the transfer of Robin van Persie and why Andrei Arshavin did not fulfill his potential at Arsenal.
After not being able to keep a place in an Arsenal side that was desperate for a defensive midfielder, Frimpong tried loan deals with other clubs, which did not work out as expected due to injuries.
Now playing for Russian side FC Ufa, Frimpong revealed how Arshavin told Arsene that he does not run, when the manager asked the entire team to run more.
In conversation with Russian website Sport.ru, and translated by 101GreatGoals, he said, “[Arshavin’s] a great guy. One of the best players who was at Arsenal, his passing was a great loss…
At Arsenal, he scored a lot, gave a lot, I would never have said that his purchase was a mistake. Because it was full of players who have purchased used for about ever larger money, and they did not show even half of what Andrei showed.
He is very funny and very loud guy. And he never ran. I remember one match before Wenger told him that now they need to run. And he was like ‘I do not [run].’ But maybe he was just very very tired! Although without the ball, he still never really ran, so that running was not exactly one of his strengths. But in the attack, he was always good.”
In the same conversation, he also revealed the real reason why Robin van Persie left the club, claiming that money was the problem and not anything else.
“Van Persie is one of the kindest people I know. He spent many years in the Arsenal and played great. You know, the problem of Arsenal is with money. Imagine that you are playing for Arsenal, you have a contract for two years.
The contract ends, and they say: ‘We are ready to offer you a new one.’ And you’re like: ‘excellent, I want to sign, salary if £20k a week?. And Arsenal answers: ‘no, we will give you only 15?.
Although they could pay 20, but do not want too. Therefore, the players leave Arsenal, and this is their problem. Nowadays, the big players have to pay a lot of money. So everything is arranged. If you want to play a star, you have to pay them a lot. Now the Arsenal like corrected, they signed Sanchez, but before they would not.”
While it was already known that Arsenal have lost superstars due to money on offer from other clubs, fans will find this confirmation from a player on the inside a lot frustrating, especially with the way recent results have panned out.