Robin Van Persie had signed a four-year deal with Arsenal in 2004, with manager Arsene Wenger planning to convert the Dutchman from his left wing position to a centre forward in a bid to strengthen the Gunners' stable of strikers. The former Feyenoord player spent a great deal of his early start at the Emirates Stadium on the bench, making an explosive debut by scoring his team's opening goal in a win against Manchester City in a League Cup match.
"I didn’t expect that he would be a striker, you know," Overmars said in a recent radio show in the UK.
"I thought he would be a midfielder, but the boss, Wenger, was very good. At the time he bought excellent young players, and got Van Persie for £1.5m."
Despite Van Persie's injury-prone career at the start, his prodigious talent was spotted by Sir Alex Ferguson, which soon prompted a £24 million, four-year contract, move to Old Trafford in August 2012. Shortly after donning the number 20 shirt for United, the Dutch striker won his first league title.
"When he came to Arsenal and got the chance to learn from Bergkamp, it was a great move for him. The transfer to Man United was not a big deal either. You have to give him credit." Overmars opined.
"He played for Arsenal for six [eight] years. He performed and delivered and they got a great transfer, so everybody should be happy."
Since joining the Red Devils Van Persie has scored 29 goals in 44 appearances. His first Premier League goal of the new season was an acrobatic volley in Manchester United's 4-1 win at Swansea City.