When Van Persie signed on the dotted line for Arsenal, many had expected him to succeed compatriot Dennis Bergkamp as a deep-lying forward. However, in recent years, the Gunners captain has transitioned into a more obvious front-man for the club, scoring 54 goals in all competitions since the start of 2011.
The Dutchman told the club's official website that he never dreamed of ending up as manager Arsene Wenger's principle striker.
"I was hoping to play as a second striker... I never thought I would end up as a main striker, we only tried it [at Arsenal] when Adebayor went to Manchester City [in 2009]. " Van Persie shared.
"The boss didn't buy anyone else because he was convinced I could do it, but I wasn't even convinced I could do it. I had not really played there that much, and I hadn't thought about it much before."
Van Persie expressed his gratitude to Wenger for the encouragement and advice his manager had given during the switch.
"The boss said, 'I think you can do it, give it a go and see where it ends. Play your normal game, don't go out there to score, go out there to enjoy yourself and help the team." he said.
"I had a go and then in pre-season we had a game against Inter Milan and I scored good goal and played well, and he told me after the game, 'We will see how it goes, I am 100 per cent sure it will work."
However, things were not all smooth-sailing in the beginning. The former Feyenoord player revealed the pressure he felt when the goals were not forthcoming during his first few games as the man upfront.
"Then in my first five or six [league] games I didn't score, I was making assists and playing well, but I didn't score and I thought, 'I am a main striker now, I need to score, [and Wenger said] I don't mind that, as long as you play well for the team, giving assists, the goals will come." Van Persie disclosed.
"When I scored my first goal I then scored seven in seven, with seven assists, so that was quite good. That was my first step to being a main striker."
Van Persie will be hoping to hit the target when Arsenal host Manchester City in their mouth-watering Premier League clash this weekend.