Arsenal boss Wenger: Van Persie in same class as Rooney, Messi
Van Persie told the Daily Mail: "The biggest frustration was because he had started to compete as one of the best players in the world and suddenly he was out. I am convinced you would have talked about Van Persie alongside Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney. I am sure.
"He is a very important player for this club, very important for our confidence and our offensive power. He can give a final ball, score goals and is good on set-pieces.
"He is also a leader because he has a football brain and is a football thinker. He is a winner and he has matured a lot in the last three or four years. The sadness was that we lost him very early in the season.
"Nobody knows what difference he might have made. You have always that thought at the end of the season. You think, 'What if you had one or two more points or if we had those points at Birmingham?'
"But you forget as well that you won games in the last seconds or minutes."