Let me start of by stating that I sincerely hope that Robin van Persie decides to put pen to paper and commits his long-term future to Arsenal Football Club.
He’s been a fantastic player throughout his career, giving us some breathtaking moments – and despite having spent a considerable amount of time on the treatment table – last season showed us, if he can stay fit for an entire league campaign, he’s easily one of the best strikers in the world.
No Arsenal fan wants to see him leave this (or next) summer, there’s no doubt about that. However, if a decision was made and an appropriate offer were to come in; if he were to leave the club this summer, would it really be the end of the world for Arsenal?
The supposed deal would land Arsenal £25m – apparently. And for a player of van Persie’s quality, the figure seems measly to say the least. But the cruel fact is, it’s the most you’re going to get for a player who’s approaching 30-years-old and has just 1 year left to run on his current contract.
No one should doubt van Persie’s quality. Without question, he had a superb season last year and looking at Euro 2012, if he can continue his good form and stay fit in Poland and Ukraine, Holland could be on the verge of glory.
Even the most fickle gooner would struggle to say we’d have still finished 3rd if we didn’t have Robin van Persie in our side last year. Looking ahead though, if the Dutchman – who scored an impressive 30 Premier League goals last season – were to go this summer, and although I couldn’t guarantee it, I believe we’d be able to cope well.
Arsene Wenger tends to have the gift when it comes to selling players at the right time. The boss sold – among others – Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira at the right time in my opinion. When the right offer comes in, unless it’s for a truly world-class player who’s still at his peak, you must think with your head rather than your heart.
Players move on. Good players move on. Great players move in. And especially in the modern game, where loyalty can only be compared to finding a needle in a haystack, you can’t expect any of your players – especially the good ones – to stay at your club until the day they retire.
Back to RVP: if a good offer were to drop in, we could then re-invest that money back into the side. £25m could get you Lucas Podolski and Thomas Vermaelen. Obviously, it’s not as simple as that but £25m is a lot of money for Arsenal – even though it may not seem like it to some other teams.
The other, probably most significant thing, is whether he could stay fit for another season. For him to remain injury-free for another 12 months would be an achievement on its own, but if you’re a betting man, you wouldn’t expect to see van Persie avoid injury for the entire of next season – again. Euro 2012 will only make things harder, too.
Like most things in football, it’s very tough to predict things like this. You never know, van Persie could sign a contract extension tomorrow and this article would become redundant.
I haven’t accepted that van Persie is leaving. Of course, like every other Arsenal fan, I am still hoping he decides to sign a new contract at the club.
However, given our recent record with our captains leaving us for bigger clubs and better offers, I don’t believe anyone can blame me for preparing for life without RVP.
by MIKE HARVEY | Follow me on Twitter @My_Karvey