The Arsenal faithful will have been buoyed by the news that star striker, Robin van Persie, may yet remain at the Emirates for a further season, despite earlier this summer saying that the club “lacked ambition.”
However, keeping Van Persie in north London will not help the 2002 and 2004 Premier League champions achieve the success they so desperately crave, and it would be far more pragmatic to sell the forward. The Gunners are currently 12/1 in the football betting to claim the Premier League title in 2013.
As sublime as Van Persie was last season, in the context of his Gunners’ career it was a flash in the pan. Despite scoring a sensational 29 goals, it was the first time in his eight years at the club that he managed to pass 20 goals in a single campaign.
Injuries have hampered the 29-year-old, which in itself is a reason to shift RVP as he approaches his thirties and nears his sell-by-date. Getting back-to-back injury free seasons out of the left footed maestro is nigh on impossible.
With just one year left on his contract, it makes more sense to cash in on the Dutch international’s hot streak of form, rather than cling on to some misguided idea that Van Persie will lead the Gunners back to the Promised Land – and then watch him walk away for free twelve months later.
In 2007, when club legend Thierry Henry departed for the glamour of Barcelona, the Gunners finished higher in the league the next season; the exact same result ensued with the double exit of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last season.
Van Persie, like Arsenal’s star players before him, may in fact be having a negative effect on his fellow players by becoming too big for the club. If Arsenal sell now, others will step forward and fill the hole that he leaves; if he stays, it will only be for one year, and the financial benefits will be surrendered.
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