Arsene Wenger feels Robin van Persie's age counted against Arsenal

Image: Robin van Persie: Has made a big impact at Old Trafford

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits Robin van Persie's age meant the striker was ever more likely to leave Emirates Stadium the longer their trophy drought continued.

Underrated

While Wenger always knew his long-time talisman would have a major say in the outcome of the championship, he believes the industry of United midfielder Michael Carrick - who like Van Persie has been shortlisted for Sunday's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award - must be recognised. "I think Carrick is an underrated player in England. Sometimes not only should the goalscorer be rewarded, but the real players in the heart of the game. Carrick, for me, deserves it," said Wenger. "I would choose Carrick as Robin had it (FWA Footballer of the Year) last season. Give it to somebody different. "Carrick is a quality passer. He could play in Barcelona. He would be perfectly suited to their game. "He has a good vision and an intelligent player and it is for what he has achieved in his whole career as well. "It is this year or never for him. Just because he is nearly 32 years old and after they go down."

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