According to former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen, Sir Alex Ferguson initially hesitated to sign Dutch striker Robin van Persie because he believed the player was “too old.” Van Persie joined Manchester United in 2012 and had an exceptional debut season, scoring 26 goals and providing 15 assists in the Premier League, which played a crucial role in the club’s record 20th league title win.
Meulensteen revealed that in January, he received a call from Van Persie’s agent, who expressed the player’s interest in joining Manchester United. Meulensteen approached Sir Alex Ferguson with the idea, but the legendary manager was initially reluctant due to concerns about Van Persie’s age, injury history, and the fact that he was 28 years old at the time.
However, Meulensteen persisted and further discussions among the coaching staff and senior players convinced them that the team needed someone like Van Persie—a spark to elevate their performance. Eventually, the move materialized, and Van Persie joined Manchester United in a £20 million deal, proving to be worth every penny.
During his three-year stint with the Red Devils, Van Persie scored 58 goals and won two trophies before departing for Fenerbahce in 2015 with a legendary status. His impact on the team and his contributions during his time at Manchester United solidified his place in the club’s history.