As we all already know by now, Arsenal have confirmed that they have agreed terms for the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United. The fee is believed to be in the region £23-24 million. RvP will travel to Old Trafford at some point this afternoon and the deal should be completed before Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign on Saturday afternoon.
This is not going to be a rant about van Persie; he will have to deal with enough abuse over the next few days and, quite frankly, giving him the time of day is more than the Dutchman deserves. I don’t think I have particularly cared about van Persie for the last 6 weeks or so. The Robin we all knew at Arsenal FC left the club a long time ago. The fact that he has gone to another Premier League club after all that Arsenal have done for him shows how much he really cares about the club.
Below I have detailed 5 things that we have learnt from the transfer of RvP to United. There are doubtless many more, so feel free to add your own in the comments section below. I just thought that 5 was a nice number.
1) Arsenal are indeed a club that are somewhat lacking in ambition.
The fact is that other teams now see Arsenal as a feeder club. The sale of players such as Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Adebayor and Van Persie to Manchester City and United would suggest that we are no longer a force to be reckoned with. I wanted Arsenal to hold strong, refuse to let van Persie go. Forcing him to stay (although not financially viable because we would be forgoing a transfer fee next summer) would be a statement of intent. You don’t mess with us. No player is bigger than the club and all that. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.
Cesc Fabregas’s transfer last summer was an exception, but I do not think that it is beyond the realm of possibility that Alex Song will be joining him in Barcelona within the next two weeks. It is also not that improbable that Theo Walcott (who many have forgotten also only has 1 year left on his contract!!) might move on, with Chelsea and Juventus both possible destinations.
2) Lukas Podolski can finally have his shirt number.
Arsenal didn’t give Lukas Podolski a shirt number when the squad details were announced 2 weeks ago. That indirectly tells you that they have known for at least a few weeks that Robin was leaving and pretty much negates Wenger’s statement earlier this week about how he intends to keep hold of our best players. Congratulations Lukas. The number 10 shirt is all yours.
3) Olivier Giroud is Arsenal’s new target man.
Olivier Giroud is now Arsenal’s first-choice striker. With Bendtner and Park probably leaving and Vela already gone, the only other out-and-out striker is Maroune Chamakh. Another choice is to move Podolski in from the wing, although I think that this will only happen on the odd occasion.
4) Arsenal’s new highest current goalscorer is now Nicklas Bendtner (45 goals in 157 appearances).
I have decided to include this one because I think that others may be as surprised as I was to discover that Bendtner has scored 45 goals for Arsenal. 45 goals in 4 seasons at Arsenal seems like a lot for a player that everybody complains about. Not that we are going to give him too much attention. He too wants to leave…
5) It’s not all bad…
Despite all the news about players wanting out, the fact is that we have made 3 fantastic new signings. The club was, until yesterday, moving in the right direction. As has been the case with Arsenal in recent seasons, it seems to be one step forward and two steps back. That said, there is still time for Wenger to invest in the squad. I still feel that we are 1 or 2 decent players away from a team that can really challenge for major trophies and £23m could come in pretty handy over the next fortnight (providing he is allowed to spend it).