Bold statement coming from me, but the media and fans alike are making far too much of a fuss over a player who really has no reason to go anywhere.
I know just as much as the next Gooner that Robin Van Persie was the Arsenal last year, no doubt about it, but that doesn’t mean he’s God. We’ve always had our talismanic players leave, and we’ve managed.
By no stretch am I suggesting he leaves, but everyone needs to take a step back and look at some questions that aren’t really being considered when it comes to tying down the Flying Dutchman with a new contract.
Can he possibly top last season?
While on the fence. I’m going with a tentative no. The main motivator Robin Van Persie was seeing how far he could essentially carry the team on his back while completing his first injury free season in the red and white ever.
He’s done that, now what? Things won’t exactly get harder for him, especially now that we have two more strikers to share the goalscoring burden, and two damn good ones at that.
Last season Arsenal newboys Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud combined for a healthy 39 goals and 16 assists. While these stats are nothing groundbreaking, they are very good given their respective situations.
Lukas Podolski carried a very, very average Koln side with his creativity and aggression, while Olivier Giroud came into full bloom to spur on surprise title winners Montpellier HSC unto glory.
Robin Van Persie has had the luxury of the Holloywood pass and fantastic hair behind him, and thunder-thighs Theo Walcott on his right flank. Supply was never a problem, and that can be detrimental.
When Arteta was injured, we seemed a lost side, with Van Persie taking the hardest hit. He doesn’t lack creativity by any means, but has been spoiled with such a perfectly balanced midfield, that when challenged to do a little more on his own, seemed slightly flustered.
I have always been of the opinion that when RVP is fit, he is among the top 5 strikers in the world, but not because he’s a dribbling master or a pace machine, but a calm, collected finisher with class and a brain.
Don’t get me wrong, Van Persie is a great player, but his limits are very visible every time he steps on the pitch.
Who’s going to pay £30m for a 29 year old?
Let’s face it. Van Persie has maybe four more years at the top of his game, and form really is a funny thing; ask Andrei Arshavin. While Van Persie has always been quietly brilliant, he never really seemed to play as a superstar striker that we’ve so desperately needed, bar last season.
While I realize that in the past he wasn’t always first in the pecking order, he is a bit of a late bloomer in my book, mostly because of injury problems. Let’s say (fingers crossed) that Robin were to reject advances from other clubs in favor of an Arsenal stay. Let’s also say that he lets his contract run down to nothing and leaves the next season.
Would it really be so bad? We’d basically be paying £3.5m for a player who scored more than 100 goals, and really saved our bacon when we needed it. It would be a bleak conclusion to such a fantastic player’s career, but would anybody really be upset by this? Like Gael Clichy, Robin Van Persie has had his ups and downs, but worked hard, stayed loyal and was rewarded with a fantastic season.
Back to my original point. Given his glass-boned reputation, and having only one outstanding season, what club will pay the fee we want for him? The answer is zero. To back up this point, we only have to look back at last summer. Cesc Fabregas is one of the best midfielders in the world right now, and we sold him for peanuts.
Under £30m for a 24 year old midfielder who hasn’t even peaked yet was an absolute steal for Barcelona, and it still leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. How do you think Gooners would react if Van Persie were to leave for £15m? That’s the sort of fee I would expect, with addons here and there. That’s the stark reality, and no one seems to be willing to accept it.
What’s the hurry?
We can say no to every single offer we receive. We’re not legally bound to sell him to anyone. People on Twitter are acting like this is Italy, and that Roberto Mancini has 90% ownership. Stop this thinking! We can do whatever we want with him for one more year, and then let him decide.
If, after this season he wants to leave, so be it. I’d much rather see him go to a club like Feyenoord, Ajax or somewhere where he wants to think about retirement than money rich clubs with a bottomless wallet.
No player is bigger than the club. We proved that this season by finishing in a better position with an arguably weaker team. Don’t give one player the power he doesn’t have, and realize that it’s the club you should worry about, not an in form striker.
We now have a proper backup plan
|Taken from Tumblr|
We’ve already got a plan for the future it seems. Lukas Podolski is probably heir to the throne (see what I did there) at striker either ahead or behind Giroud if RVP leaves. I say this because no matter how you slice it, Lukas simply is not a winger.
Giroud is the target man we’ve missed since the meteoric rise and descent of Marouane Chamakh. It’s not secret to how much we needed Robin last season, but things are looking up now with two brilliant additions the squad.
Robin Van Persie is a fantastic footballer, but we truly don’t know what’s going to happen.
Don’t let this turn into another saga, especially when we’re talking about one of Arsenal’s biggest fans.