I feel like taking a long shower, followed by running through a car wash buck naked just to cleanse the stink for daring to utter the possibility no Gooner wants to consider – “Is RvP leaving North London really THAT bad?”
Well, yes, it is. However, not as bad as one might think. Stay with me on this one, chaps…
First, as any serious follower of the Prem already knows, Robin is injury-prone – or used to be. Up until last season he went through more ups and downs than any roller coaster, spending more time in Arsenal’s rehabilitation center than on the pitch. Since arriving at Arsenal he showed glimpses of an expertise that would eventually be realized in last year’s campaign, but frequent injuries certainly brought out many, many critics. I remember our own Frank Giuliano telling me a couple of years back that;
“Van Persie is phenomenal, but he gets hurt way too much. You can’t have your best player always watching from the stands.”
True, right? I didn’t want to believe it, and thankfully he showed that he isn’t as brittle as was once believed – thank the Lord. But here is the question you have to ask yourself – “If RvP were to go down, what would happen to the team?”
Certainly Spurs, and not the Gunners, would be the North London team represented in the Champions League. Without Robin van Persie, Arsenal likely would have finished mid-table, and I think I’m fairly safe in suggesting that positioning. So then why might it be a good time to sell him?
First, his value will never be higher. Rivaling the likes of Ronaldo and Messi for the Golden Boot (I’m not arguing in favour of him, just that he is mentioned) automatically gives any team a legitimate scoring threat. Therefore, there will be a bidding war for his services – in fact, it has likely already begun. We already know about the deep pockets in Manchester.
Also, consider my argument about where the team would be without Van Persie. You may think that is an argument for keeping him, well, what if he were to go down to injury this year, what then? You can’t build a team only on one support beam – you need many interconnected pieces. Is Giroud and Podolski enough to make up for losing the Dutchman? Maybe – none of us really know. But think how many extra pieces Arsene can get (if he dusts his wallet and continues to spend, that is) for what will be a massive transfer fee. Can someone say “Centre Back”? And some of that money could be used to re-sign some other players like Theo Walcott.
Finally, and maybe this is a cop-out, but I always wonder how these constant rumours of transfers effects a team. If Arsenal does not transfer him, and can not sign him to a new contract, the 2012-2013 season will be littered with so much speculation, I think it would be a horrendous sideshow. The football world saw this with the Cesc-to-Barcelona saga of a year ago. Perhaps if a deal can’t be worked out a transfer would at least ease some pressure on the players and allow them to move forward? Maybe I am just trying to psych myself up for what is inevitable.
To be clear, I don’t want RvP to leave the Emirates. I am just saying that if he did, and Arsenal got royally-compensated, it would not be the worst thing in the world.
…until tomorrow, lads.