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By ESPN Staff

Vieira sale so costly for Gunners, fumes Bergkamp

Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp has questioned the selling the Gunners' midfield general Patrick Vieira to Juventus.

The Dutchman 'never expected the dip to be this big' following Arsene Wenger's decision to let his fellow Frenchman leave at the end of last season. The club are currently fifth in the Premiership.

'Arsene is intelligent enough to know what that did to the team [in selling Vieira]. People saw how influential Patrick was on the pitch, dominating midfield by himself,' Bergkamp told 'The Game' in The Times.

'But people also forget how he was off the pitch, how impressive he was in the dressing room, and how important he was for every other player, young and old. I think a lot of people underestimated that.'

The 36-year-old added: 'When you hear he is going to be sold you try to think of a team without him - and you have the confidence in the board and the coach that they have something in mind.

'You can't just let Patrick go without having someone coming in. But that doesn't happen. You respect Arsene for what he has done; that is for sure, but to tell you the truth you thought something would happen - and nothing did. So slowly you get into the new season and you realise this is going to be a tough one.

'We didn't expect the dip to be this big. It is okay to take one step and two steps forward, but we are not really sure if it just one step back at the moment. It seems more. Somehow we got into a transitional year, and it wasn't necessary.'