Robin van Persie has hit back at his former Arsenal teammate Per Mertesacker over his comments about Arsene Wenger.
The Dutchman played in the same Arsenal side as the former Germany international for a solitary campaign before his acrimonious exit to Manchester United.
Mertesacker played a key role in three FA Cup victories in the space of three years but the commanding centre-half felt such a talented group of individuals would have won more silverware had Wenger been more ruthless.
Van Persie told the Daily Mail: ‘My opinion at first is that loads of ex-players are making a book, it’s sort of fashion to write a book, which I will personally not do. That is his opinion, he can have that. I’m not really going into that. He can think what he wants.
‘Arsene is a great coach and manager and fantastic person and helped me to improve as a player and a human. I’m forever grateful for that. I worked eight years under him, he gave me chances.
‘On a private matter, he was always open to chat to me about life and as a person as well, and as a coach he was great. He was fantastic. He really had a philosophy. He always wanted to attack, play positive, pass, create and play together.
‘Some people judge him just on trophies, like whatever, Per now is finding a reason. He can say what he wants to say.
‘What I really liked about Arsene is he had a philosophy. You can see that now with Pep and City. His team plays from his philosophy. The same in a different style is Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool.
‘He has his way of playing. Arsene did that as well. He was great’.