Story by Sarah Mobbs
This week I’m going to be continuing in the same vein as last week; discussing what exactly is going on between Robin van Persie, Arsene Wenger, and the various suitors vying for his attention and allegiance. Wenger, it seems, is certainly doing his best to stick to his Gun(ner)s, and is determined to sell for no less than £30 million. Despite the interest in RVP, so far no club is willing to put forward this figure for a player who, firstly; they do not really need, and secondly; despite having a fantastic season in 2011/2012 (van Persie came out as the Premier League’s top goal scorer netting 30 for Arsenal), has had some very poor seasons in the past.
When RVP extended his contract with Wenger in July 2009, he said “My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt” (Arsenal.com, 2009). However, for whatever reasons (which may include more money or more (indeed, any) trophies) van Persie has had a change of heart. While the fans are disappointed, the general consensus is that Wenger should let him go. He may have had some brilliant performances last season, who is to say that he will perform as well this season?
Van Persie has clearly turned his back on the club, and so if Wenger will not sell, and other clubs are not willing to pay the high price on his head, he will be stuck at Arsenal for this final season of his contract. Yet playing for another season where he no longer wishes to be, will his heart really be in it? Especially after the purchases of Giroud and Podolski, who, as I mentioned last week, have been brought in as eventual replacements for van Persie.
The other problem Wenger may face if he cannot sell van Persie now is that, once his contract is fully over, van Persie will leave the club for nothing; meaning Wenger has his replacements, but has no monetary recompense for the purchases he has made this season. The other pitfall of refusing to sell while the going is good, is that Wenger may well repeat last season’s bad time-management, and end up selling for much, much less than he wanted right as the transfer window closes, both options leaving the club humiliated.
I suppose things would be very different if van Persie had proved himself season after season, yet 2011/2012 was the first season he has performed consistently well, and not been plagued by injury. No-one can predict what will happen this season, let alone in the 2013/2014 season, but will van Persie realistically be set to score 30 at 30 years old? It’s doubtful.
Wenger and the Arsenal board have been accused of treating the club as a business rather than a club, and at this present moment I have to agree. Being a Gunner (she says as if you didn’t already know)I will be sad to see van Persie go, but if push comes to shove, I would rather see him go for a price, where the money can later be put to good use, than see him stay, give half-arsed performances and eventually go for nothing.