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Arsenal legend Robin van Persie reveals he asked Arsene Wenger to sign Juventus star Giorgio Chiellini

Ajax v Inter Milan - Amsterdam Tournament
Ajax v Inter Milan - Amsterdam Tournament
Varun Totadri
Modified 11 Dec 2020

Former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has revealed that he called on Arsene Wenger to sign Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini to Arsenal as he felt the club 'lacked a winning mentality'.

Chiellini began his career with Livorno in 2000, later playing for Roma and Fiorentina before moving to Juventus in 2005. At Juventus, he has won nine consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2020, four consecutive Coppa Italia titles, and four Supercoppa Italiana titles.

Giorgio Chiellini has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year five times: in 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, and 2018–19 and was awarded the Serie A Defender of the Year three times in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The Italian is recognized by most fans, pundits and peers as one of the best defenders of his generation. His warrior-like mentality and approach to football has made him an icon, and role model to many up-and-coming footballers.

Robin van Persie believes Arsenal did not challenge for lacked defenders like Giorgio Chiellini

Netherlands v Italy - UEFA Nations League
Netherlands v Italy - UEFA Nations League

Former Arsenal great Robin van Persie claims he asked his former manager Arsene Wenger to sign the Italian during his time with the Gunners. Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal but failed to win the Premier League with the club.

The Dutchman was convinced Arsenal lacked the defensive resolve to compete at the top end of the table, and felt Giorgio Chiellini would have transformed the club. The Italian however, never arrived at the Emirates, and is currently in his fifteenth season with Juventus.

"At a given moment I felt called upon to say what Arsenal could do better in order to win the league," said van Persie in an interview on Kaj Gorgel's Youtube channel."
"I felt we lacked a winning mentality, and asked Arsene Wenger to sign Giorgio Chiellini. I have played against him a few times, and he is a genuine winner. You could see that when he played against Holland a few weeks ago."

Giorgio Chiellini is an old-fashioned 'body on the line' type of defender. Van Persie believed that Arsenal lacked those characteristics, which is why they failed to win a Premier League title or challenge for trophies during his time at the club.

"He is 36 years old, but he'll dish out nine elbows every game with a smile on his face. He'll keep smiling and never get a yellow card. You need those types of winners and killers in your side. I felt we should get him."

Arsenal continue to face defensive problems even after the retirement of Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are currently fifteenth in the Premier League table, having lost six out of their eleven opening games, and could do with a leader like Giorgio Chiellini in their squad.

Published 11 Dec 2020, 21:41 IST
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