Just a few short weeks after Robin Van Persie won the Professional Football Association’s fans’ player of the year for 2011-12, he dealt Arsenal a major, major blow: refusing to extend his contract at the Gunners that expires next summer. Oh dear. This looks like a move away from the Emirates for the prolific Dutch striker. Not another captain to leave within two years for Arsene Wenger? Sadly, it’s looking that way.
Of course the big teams are monitoring this situation – Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan. But none more so than Manchester City. According reports, they are the likely destination for RVP. Former Arsenal team mate Kolo Touré had even said this week ”At City we have great players and the club does what it wants in transfers. But for me, if Robin comes it’s great because I know what he can do”.
This would be a disaster for Arsenal – and especially for Arsene Wenger. There would be a sizeable RVP-shaped hole in Arsenal’s forwards despite the arrivals of strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Van Persie was an incredible presence to have in the Arsenal team and was almost single-handedly the difference between the Gunners 3rd place finish last season and being completely outside the top four.
So it seems that Arsenal may sell the 28-year-old rather than lose him on a free transfer in 12 months’ time. The club’s statement added that they are planning for “next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind”. But who could possibly take his place as the lethal finisher at the Emirates. They would need to bring in a real heavyweight like Mario Gómez, Gonzalo Higuaín or Fernando Llorente to fill that void – but that’s not Wenger’s style. Interesting times ahead at the Emirates stadium. Watch this space…