Speaking to The Sun after Arsenal’s 4-0 win over FC Koln, Arsène Wenger has reiterated his desire to keep Robin van Persie at the club and insisted that the signings of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski were designed to strengthen the squad rather than to replace our star striker.
Twitter is, as always, buzzing with rumours which suggest that Robin will become a Manchester United player tomorrow for a fee of £25 million. However, I fail to see how that can possibly be true with Wenger vehemently denying that our captain is leaving. There is, apparently, no news and van Persie is still very much an Arsenal player:
“There’s no news on van Persie. Our fans want him to stay so you can understand they are excited. Anything I could say about van Persie would be a lie because he’s our player and that’s it.
“Robin scored 30 goals last season and you want to keep your best player. He was player of the year in England. We want to keep him. I cannot tell you more at the moment because I don’t know more.
“We have not bought the players to replace van Persie, but to strengthen our squad with the thinking van Persie will stay. That’s still my mind at the moment.”
For a small while I did wonder why Robin was not given a start in yesterday’s match against Koln. However, the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Lukas Podolski deserved to start against his former club, while Arsenal fans would want to see new signing Olivier Giroud in action. The three cannot really play together, so Robin was benched. It is only a pre-season game so you can’t read too much into it; the important thing is to see if Robin is still at the club in 2 or 3 weeks time.
Wenger’s clear refusal to negotiate with United and keep our best player at the club shows that Arsenal do not, as van Persie has previously stated, lack any ambition. If we were lacking ambition we would have sold him ages ago. Take the money from Juve, City or United and git rid of him. He only has a year on his contract, so £20 or 25m would be acceptable. If van Persie stays for another season and Arsenal win silverware then Wenger has done his job very well. The new signings indicate that we are very much heading in the right direction.