Friday, 6 July 2012

From Hero to Zero: Robin Van Persie

Having seen the likes of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leave last season, Arsenal are set to lose their next big star with captain Robin Van Persie announcing that he won't be signing a new contract with the club. The Dutchman scored a mammoth 41 goals in 53 games for club and country last season, as well being chosen for the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' player of the year last season.

The announcement comes after constant speculation in the media debating whether RVP would commit his future to the club. Van Persie released his statement on his own personal site stating that: 'in this meeting is has again become clear that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward'  Releasing the statement in the way he did, Van Persie has erased the great memories he once gave to his loyal fans.

Despite saying that he is again meeting Wenger and Gazidis, it very much looks like the statement will end his career at the Emirates. The tone of his statement will be what angers fans, having questioned the clubs challenge and aspirations for silverware. It must be said though, that Arsenal have not won any silverware in the last seven years. However without the goals of RVP, this wait could easily continue.

As well as the lack of silverware, the number of high profile signings the club has made over recent years has been minimal. Aside from Mikel Arteta for £10million last August, Wenger has shyed away from spending big money. However already this season, the Frenchman has spent big bringing in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, who have both arrived under double figure fees. However with only the likes of Chamakh, Park and Gervinho remaining with the new arrivals, losing Van Persie would be a huge blow to Arsenal's front line. 

Having stuck by Van Persie during the years the Dutchman was injured, Wenger's next move will have to be looking to sell the Dutchman unless RVP makes a dramatic U-turn. This possibility can't be ruled out having seen both Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard remain at their current clubs having made similar announcements in the past.
So where does Van the man go from here? There are a number of potential suitors for the Dutchman, with Manchester City in the driving seat. The spending power of City will wave off any other potential suitors and the fact they go into the new season as current champions will make them more appealing. Former team mates Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy were lured from the Emirates last season and having seen them pick up winners medals, Van Persie would be temepted to join them if the offer came around. As well as City, it has been known that Sir Alex Ferguson is an admirer of RVP, and with Owen gone and Berbatov likely to leave, the addition to United's front line of Van Persie would certainly add more goals to their team. 

Juventus recently offered £8million for Van Persie but if they are to capture the Dutchman, they will be expected to fork out a lot more than that. Real Madrid and Barcelona are also potential suitors, but with David Villa set to return, and the goals of Leo Messi, the Catalans could do without Van Persie. Madrid could be a good move for both parties, but again with Ronaldo and Benzema both firing in goals, like Barca, the need for Van Persie isn't that necessary. 

If Captain Vantastic does move on, then he will be only remembered for his statement and not the wonderful contribution to the London club. The way he went about it was wrong and had he handed in a transfer request, or allowed the club to make a statement, then the reaction may have been completely different. But instead, Arsenal will have to sell Van Persie this summer as long as he doesn't change his mind, to make sure they receive a big fee for the striker, and not let him see out his contract allowing him to leave on a free. 

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