Deja Vu for Arsenal. Groundhog day for Arsene Wenger and his club. Another one bites the dust!
Arsenal captain, their 8th-highest all-time goal scorer and English Premier League 2012 Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie – a player who has one year remaining on his contract with Arsenal football club – finally ended speculation on his future yesterday, confirming what every Arsenal fan had been fearful of the whole time:
“As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the boss [Arsene Wenger] and Mr [Ivan] Gazidis after the season. This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy. Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.
I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract. You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.”
- Source: Robinvanpersie.com, the player’s official website.
This then puts an end to all the ‘will-he-sign-or-not’ uncertainty regarding van Persie’s contract renewal.
Here are 22 important points that have come up from the whole van Persie saga (in no particular order at all):
1. Arsenal are now officially a ‘selling club.’ A club that sells its star players (or is forced to sell them) every single year.
2. Heartbreak for Arsenal fans. This is Cesc Fabregas all over again. Another painful summer ensues.
3. Arsenal keep losing their best players to other teams – Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabragas, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie.. the list goes on.
4. Last summer, Arsenal lost one of the best playmakers in the world to Barcelona. Now however, Arsenal lose their talismanic captain, double Player of the Year, golden boot winner, and the club’s best forward – someone who guided them through rough waters last season and singlehandedly ensured UCL qualification. Arsenal lose a man who scored a phenomenal 37 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. With 30 goals and 13 assists coming in the EPL alone.
5. Arsenal’s inability to keep their star players is worrying, to say the least.
6. Arsenal players seem to be running out of pateince with the club, the board, the club’s inability to compete in the transfer market and its inability to win silverware.
7. Arsenal fans might be furious right now, but deep down, they know how van Persie feels.
8. Van persie had, in all probability, made up his mind that he will not be signing an extension a good few months back.
9. Are Podolski and Giroud adequate replacements? Were they brought in because Arsene knew van Persie was going to leave?
10. Trend of Arsenal captains leaving them when they needed them the most (Vieira, Cesc, van Persie) is worrisome.
11. Arsenal’s inability to tie their players down to better deals well before time is also a huge cause of concern.
12. Emirates is no longer the preferred destination for top players and top talent.
13. What does this mean for Walcott’s future (1 year remaining on contract)?
14. Contenders for captain next season – Sagna, Vermaelen, Arteta. Does it mean that (given the current trend) whoever of these is made captain will then move to another club, come 2013?
15. Will van Persie stay and see out his contract or will he be sold? Do Arsenal fans want him to stay now?
16. Arsenal risk losing van Persie on the cheap (if the board decides to sell him), the player has one year remaining on his contract.
17. What does this mean for the future of Arsenal FC?
18. Will Arsenal be able to compete in the transfer market and/or win something, before the club has paid off its debt or before they can renew their commercial deals in 2014?
19. The BIG question: where will van Persie end up?
20. The even BIGGER question: will Arsenal seek to replace van Persie? Would someone like Papiss Cisse or Gonzalo Higuain be good replacements? Would the money from van Persie’s sale be reinvested into the club?
21. “The grass is not always greener!” Ask Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini! And maybe even Robert Pires and Jose Antonio Reyes while you’re at it.
22. Money is king!
Do leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
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