The Dutchman has scored 54 goals since the start of 2011, becoming one of the most lethal attackers in football but Van Persie claims he was unsure he could fill the Togolese forward’s shoes after his move to the Etihad Stadium.
“I was hoping to play as a second striker. I never thought I would end up as a main striker,” he told The Sun.
“We only tried it when Adebayor went. The boss didn’t buy anyone else. He was convinced I could do it but I wasn’t.”
Van Persie revealed this lack of confidence led to a poor goal return early on but he had the determination to turn his form around and become a prolific goalscorer.
He continued: “In my first five or six games I was making assists but I didn’t score and I thought, ‘I am a main striker now, I need to score’.
“When I scored my first goal I then scored seven in seven, with seven assists.”