Yesterday Straight Talking Gooners published a poll in which we asked Arsenal fans what they thought Robin van Persie would do given that Arsenal have made (/are making) a number of excellent summer signings and investing in the squad. None of our regular first-team players have left and the team is looking in great shape, but only a month ago van Persie stated that he will not sign a contract extension and intends to leave.
After more than 1,100 votes it has become clear that many Gooners still think that our captain will leave for more money, regardless of the signings that we have made. In this case, any new signings would not have made the blindest bit of difference; he has already made up his mind and is definitely leaving. The big question is whether Arsenal would accept a lower transfer fee in order to not sell to our rivals. Juventus have apparently offered van Persie a very large sum of money, but are left with less to offer Arsenal as a transfer fee.
Close behind were the Arsenal fans who thought that van Persie’s statement in July was simply designed to force Arsène Wenger into spending some money. If this is the case, then you could argue that van Persie’s plan worked. However, I think that this is very unlikely.
In third place were the slightly more optimistic fans who think that he may have changed his mind now that he has seen our new-look team. If he was intending to leave, maybe the signings of Cazorla and Sahin (both of which should be confirmed next week) will have made him think otherwise.
Tied in third place were those who think that van Persie will stay, but only because he does not have any other options available. There are rumours that Juventus are now cooling their interest, while Manchester City still have 4 world-class strikers on their books. In this case Manchester United would be the only viable option, but I do not think that their interest is as genuine as Fergie suggests.
Only a very small percentage of those who took the poll thought that RvP will leave because he wants to win some silverware. There are many more fans who think that his actions this summer are financially motivated. Of course, this is all very speculative. Only van Persie (and arguably his agent/representatives) actually know what is going on and why he released that ill-timed and slightly unnecessary statement last month. He would have been better advised to wait until Arsenal had made some moves in the transfer market. That is, of course, if Arsenal’s summer transfer were ever going to influence his actions in the first place.