Arsenal fans up and down the country were stunned last week as Robin Van Persie announced that he would not be extending his contract beyond next summer. Van Persie, who has been Arsenal’s most prolific goalscorer in recent seasons, will be a huge loss to a club in need of star players to propel them to the Premier League title. So where exactly will Robin Van Persie end up? Or will Arsenal somehow hang on to the Dutchman?
Arsenal has been Van Persie’s club for eight years and so Arsenal fans might well hope that a long-term attachment to the club would not be broken. But Van Persie has nothing bar a solitary 2005 FA Cup winners medal to show for his eight years of hard labour. Players want to win trophies and if Van Persie wants trophies quickly, it seems leaving Arsenal is the better option.
…competing for starting places…
But where could he go? Manchester City certainly has the money and has former Arsenal players on their books: Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri respectively. But Van Persie would be competing for starting places alongside the lethal Sergio Aguero, and the brilliant, if erratic, Mario Balotelli. If Van Persie were to leave Arsenal he would certainly want to slot right into the starting line-up of his new team, which might not necessarily be the case at City.
Italian champions Juventus might be an option. They reportedly had an £8m bid for Van Persie rejected by Arsenal. But they have not been challenging for top European honours in recent years and so, though capable of winning Serie A, might not be able to deliver the European trophies that a player of Van Persie’s quality deserves.
…crossroads in his career…
Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona also have the cash to buy Van Persie, but they have highly capable strikers of their own. Van Persie is clearly a striker of considerable quality, his superb goal in Euro 2012 was testament to this. In wanting to leave Arsenal, he is at a crossroads in his career and this might be a necessary step to combining his obvious talent with top honours.