After a season of accolades in which he was one of the in-form strikers of the Premier League, it came to light last night that Robin van Persie would not be renewing his contract with Arsenal. The 28-year old joined from Feyenoord for £2.75m in 2004 but has had some ill luck in the past, missing a large percentage of games through injury. Despite this being the reason for receiving criticism over the years, he scored a total of 37 goals in 48 games for Arsenal last term, winning him the PFA and Football Writer’s player of the year.
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During recent talks regarding his future at the club, the Dutchman met with manager Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, the club’s chief executive, but the three were unable to come to an agreement on what direction they would take the Gunners.
“Unfortunately it has become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.” (Robin van Persie)
With only a year left on his remaining contract, it is unknown whether or not Van Persie will remain an Arsenal player for the upcoming season, but with interest from rich boys Manchester City and Real Madrid, it looks increasingly unlikely.
Arsenal remain positive that he will see out the rest of his contract at the Emirates saying that they are confident he will fulfil his commitment to the club. That said, if we look back to the start of last season, Arsenal found themselves in a similar position when they faced losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri (who also had a year left on his contract) in the summer transfer window. The two ended up leaving the London club in August, moving on to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively.
It has been a common ethos amongst players exiting the club to express their desire of winning trophies; something at which they feel the club is underachieving. Although Arsenal have regularly finished in the top four, reached various cup semi finals and finished third last season ahead of bitter rivals Tottenham, they have not really challenged the top contenders for any trophy for almost a decade.
The ‘golden age’ of Arsenal has long been and gone since winning the Premier League title in 2004 after a record of 49 games unbeaten. They were the first side to go a whole season (38 games) without being defeated but despite this have failed in subsequent attempts.
The Gunner’s silverware drought began after their 2005 FA Cup final victory over Manchester United which they won on penalties. Patrick Vieira scored the winning spot kick which ended up being his last act as captain before his move to Juventus in the summer of that year.
It would suffice to say that losing such a pivotal player in Robin van Persie is not good news for the Londoners. His somewhat imminent departure does not bode well for the club as they look to grow as a squad and after such a prolific season last term in which they relied upon his abundance of talent, they will need somebody to fill the void he will leave. There is no doubt about it, he was captain fantastic but he joins a growing list of influential club captains to fly the Arsenal nest along with Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas.
In a league that many foreign players find it difficult to settle in to, new signings Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, although very talented, may hit a snag in the wake of Van Persie’s remarkable season. Scoring 21 goals in 36 games for Montpellier last season helping them win the French Ligue 1, Giroud will be looking to play in the same position as his Dutch predecessor and will possibly play alongside Podolski and Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain. Despite not scoring in Euro 2012, if he can continue his good domestic scoring form then Arsenal may just cope without their beloved RVP.
@JoshBenzel wrote: have to wonder that money is a factor. if we are not ambitious, why would we sign 2 20+goalscorers for £25m 4 days into window. easy excuse? maybe
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