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Feyenoord signing Van Persie: Wenger told me home truths

Feyenoord signing Robin van Persie has paid tribute to his former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Van Persie, 34, has gone back to Feyenoord which he left to join Arsenal in 2004.

He said: "A manager can't spend that much time with every player in his squad, but we had a very good connection. I have learnt so much in all the years I played for Arsene.

“Arsene made me think about things. He never laid it all out on a plate.

"I remember being 21 years old and it was my second season at Arsenal. I thought to myself: 'It is time to get more playing time?' I thought I was entitled to have more minutes in the first team.

“Arsene was aware of my ambitions but he told me that I was not an absolute top class player yet. 'But that is want I want to be, so I have to play more,' I said to him.

“Wenger looked at me and said: 'Robin, you have to ask yourself why your are not the top player yet. Write down for yourself what your qualities are right now and also write down which qualities you think you still need to improve.'

“It was great stuff from him. He made me think about my own development. Arsene is an intelligent man and he has so much patience.

“Our talks were not spiritual, but we did have some very, very thorough talks about life. He really took his time for his players.''

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Paul Vegas

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