Sky Sports ran an article on Tuesday night (July 10) claiming that striker Robin van Persie might reconsider his decision to re-sign with Arsenal and many websites jumped all over it. However, the article didn’t last long and within a couple of hours it had disappeared from the Sky site. Perhaps the Dutchman is trying to achieve what Wayne Rooney did a couple of years ago by saying publicly he wanted to leave the club and then signing a new mega-million pound contract.
But one wonders if it’s too late for van Persie now and if he’s burned his bridges with the Gunners. This situation has dragged on for far too long and it’s time somebody put their foot down and either sold him or tells him that he’s not going anywhere while under contract. We’ve seen other players force moves out of the club such as Samir Nasri, Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Petit, Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars, Patrick Vieira, Mathieu Flamini and Thierry Henry, but there has to be a point of no return somewhere along the line.
You’d think Arsenal would have learned their lesson by now with players wanting to leave while in their final contract year. This is why it’s important to start negotiations on new deals before it gets to this point. If players don’t want to re-sign before their last year then get rid of them while you can still get a decent return on them. If Arsene Wenger is convinced he needs van Persie to succeed this season then keep him, if not, sell him now or even swap him for somebody useful if possible.
The player’s options may be running out though, and if the Sky article was right, he may realize this and that could be why he’s changing his tune. Paris Saint Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti said he’s not interested in van Persie and while we keep hearing rumours of every other club in the world wanting him, where are the offers?
Van Persie has the right to turn down a new contract, but the way this thing has been played out is simply ridiculous. He’s lost the respect of a lot of supporters for stringing them along for so long and the club itself doesn’t appear to have a clue what’s going on either. Hopefully somebody will put an end to everybody’s misery and this circus will end sometime soon. The Fabregas issue was downright embarrassing and this one is becoming even worse.
Selling van Persie now would probably let Arsenal recoup the cash they laid out for Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski and they might even have some left over for other new signings where needed. If van Persie isn’t sold and he plays out the season at the Emirates it could cause some unpleasant scenes in the stands and it’s likely he won’t play up to par. The team needs to improve in other areas and waiting around isn’t going to solve their shortcomings. They’ve fallen quite a bit since the undefeated ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/04.
But looking at the bigger picture, the club is simply becoming known as a feeder team for others in England and Europe. Man City already has four former Gunners and if van Persie ends up there he’ll obviously be the fifth in the past three years. Arsenal have done a good job of buying cheap players and developing them, which is saving them from splashing out huge transfer fees. However, this policy must honestly be said to be failing since top players are leaving when they get the chance. This means the whole process needs to be started again from square one as the squad resembles a revolving door.
Unless a hard salary cap is introduced to football this rubbish of players holding their clubs at ransom every summer and going to the highest bidders isn’t going to end. I couldn’t care less if van Persie stays or goes, but I’m getting sick and tired of reading the endless rumours to this saga. Somebody needs to make a decision and do it now… Wenger?