Wenger admits Van Persie sale gamble

Wenger admits Van Persie sale gamble

Published Aug. 17, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger concedes the club have taken a massive risk by selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United and understands why fans feel betrayed.

The former Gunners captain has completed a £24million move to Old Trafford after finalising a medical on Thursday evening.

Arsenal fans have been devastated by the loss of last season's Premier League top scorer, who had only 12 months left on his contract and did not want to sign a new deal.

Ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger understands the frustration of supporters who have in past seasons watched the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry depart the club in their prime.


Wenger said at a press conference of Van Persie: "I know it is a massive gamble but I feel we have the quality to deal with that. I can understand people are hurt."

But the Arsenal boss is confident the summer signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla can compensate for the loss of Van Persie to fierce rivals United.

The Londoners could yet also lose Alex Song to Barcelona and are lining up Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin as a replacement but they have also already invested almost £40m in transfers.

And Wenger added on the Van Persie situation: "We anticipated this might happen so we bought Giroud and Podolski.

"If you look at the number of players, we have a massive squad. We have what is needed to be ambitious.

"We bought players who can provide, we bought players who can score.

"We have lost world-class players before and we have always survived."