Man City target Van Persie owes Arsenal & Wenger more loyalty
Sharethematch.com takes a look at Arsene Wenger's loyalty to Robin van Persie during the striker's injury problems
Van Persie owed Wenger more loyalty
Robin van Persie has scored 132 goals in Arsenal colours across an eight-year career at the north London outfit – that equates to 16.5 goals per season.
Interestingly, 37 of those goals came last season in what was an exceptional campaign – and 22 goals came the year before.
This statistic clearly shows that Van Persie is enjoying a golden period in his career but before that he was distinctly average.
In his first seven seasons at the club, he managed to make over 30 appearances just once, while last year was the first time the Arsenal skipper managed over 40 starts.
Most managers would have moved the injury-plagued Dutchman on during his first under-performing six seasons – but not Arsene Wenger. Most managers would have gone out and signed a striker after the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City – but Wenger persevered with Van Persie.
He turned a crocked second striker into one of the world’s best finishers, taught Van Persie to play up top on his own and believed in him when almost every Arsenal supporter thought he was substandard.
Van Persie asked for Wenger to go out and invest this summer – to sign players capable of challenging for silverware – if the Frenchman did that then he would put pen-to-paper on a new deal at The Emirates.
Wenger stuck to his end of the bargain and signed Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski – with the promise of further additions to the Arsenal squad mooted this summer.
Van Persie failed to reciprocate, and it is impossible for him to remain at the club now and equally so for him to retain the captain’s armband at The Emirates next season.
Arsenal claim they will not be selling the Dutchman and that he will see out the remainder of his contract. But the Gunners should invest the money City will pay and watch Van Persie sit on the bench at the Etihad next season.
Promises and gestures from football players are now very hollow and sadly it is money that talks not loyalty.
Gunners need Wilshere back – and fast
For a club that announced the departures of Gavin Hoyte and Manuel Almunia, Arsenal were dealt a crushing blow on Wednesday when Van Persie revealed that he was not going to sign a new contract.
With Van Persie the only player of world-class talent left on the Gunners’ roster, it is now more important than ever that Jack Wilshere returns from injury and hits the ground running.
The diminutive midfielder was a mini-revelation last season before injury put a premature end to his campaign. He was originally due back before the season was over, ready to force his way into England’s Euro 2012 squad, but the ankle problem was worse than first feared and the 20-year-old looks likely to miss the start of the new season.
Van Persie currently wears the captain’s armband at The Emirates, and Arsenal lack any real leaders to carry the club forward. This role seems tailor-made for Wilshere – a young, tenacious centre midfielder who clearly loves the club.