And so it begins, Robin Van Persie has announced that he will not be signing a new contract with Arsenal putting many of the biggest and richest teams in Europe on red alert.
It is something we have all be contemplating and even though the purist inside of me wanted him to stay I don’t disagree with his decision to leave. Arsenal are still stuck in a self financing plan put forward by shareholders that have left the club and it is slowing killing them.
Nasri, Fabregas, Toure, Clichy and Adebayor have all left and they have been replaced by players on a lower level. Inevitably this means that Arsenal as a club will be playing on a different level and it is a credit to Arsene Wenger that they achieved Champions league qualification last year, not to mention thanks to all of RVP’s goals.
But where should RVP go next? In The Sun Kolo Toure has urged Van Persie to follow so many through the doors at the Etihad that have travelled from North London and said “if Robin comes it’s great because I know what he can do”.
Every non-City football fan out there will be saying the same thing “If he goes to City it’s only for the money” but for me that’s short sighted. It’s true that City will make Van Persie one of their highest paid players with rumours of a contact in the region of £200,000 a week being prepared for him and for any human being it would be hard to resist.
But let’s not forget that Manchester City look to be on the brink of dominating English football. Their talent and resources make them the new Manchester United in that any new exciting player that comes along will go to City if they are interested. So to those Manchester United fans who are cussing City for buying their dominance you now know how annoyed the rest of the Premier league has been since the mid 90s.
There are three factors that Van Persie will abide by when thinking of his new destination: 1. First team football 2. Winning trophies 3. Money.
With Manchester City the second two are almost guaranteed but I’m not so sure about the first one. Mancini is a man who likes to tinker with his team, especially when it comes to Europe, and if you aren’t on form he isn’t afraid of being drastic with you. Obviously RVP’s form for Arsenal last year will make you think that won’t be a problem but his performance at the Euro’s didn’t set the world alight.
Manchester City will be the main focus for Van Persie during these next few weeks but he will do well to look elsewhere too. Paris St Germain are the French version of City but even so lost the title last year to modestly spending Montpellier.
Juventus however offer another interesting scenario. Antonio Conte has revived the Old Lady of Italian football and she is hungry for success. Predictions of dominance in Serie A are almost unquestionable after they went unbeaten last season in the league and have a stadium with the same atmosphere as any Premier League ground, according to Andrea Pirlo.
With this in mind I would like to see Van Persie make a footballing decision rather than a financial one, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Manchester City are in pole position for the hottest thing to come out of Holland since the green stuff…. Tulips, but for a chance to rejuvenate an old footballing power that won’t be branded as ‘buying their own success’ I would consider Juve.
Besides, if RVP has a few bad games at Juve he will be given another chance, but a few slip ups for City and the cheque book will come out and a new replacement will put the Dutchmen down the pecking order.