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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Still a week or so short of becoming a worn out and protracted transfer saga, the sale of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United sees them now having the top two scorers from last season in their first team. A deadly combination I’m sure we can all agree. And yet, I still can’t help but feel that Arsenal have got the better deal out of all of this.

Of course it would be crazy to say they won’t miss their talismanic striker and captain. Any side would feel the effect of the departure of a player who scores and provides the amount of goals that Robin Van Persie has done. However, let’s take a step back cast a critical eye over Van Persie and his relationship with Arsenal and transfer to United. He’s now 29 and whilst last year he managed to stay injury free – playing in all 38 games of the league campaign – there is a lingering feeling that was a one off. Van Persie has suffered from injuries all his career. It’s nothing short of wishful thinking to believe that because he had one year free of them that they won’t recur once he gets the wrong side of 30. That he’s tied down to a four year contract and presumably on big money represents a significant risk for a player with his injury record and who will have little re-sale value.

Then there’s the issue of his role within the team. Presumably he’ll be a starting player. You don’t spend £20 million plus on a squad player unless you’re Man City or Chelsea. This then creates the dilemma of who plays alongside him. There’s no way Rooney’s getting dropped, which further reduces the number of spaces available within the squad. Add in Kagawa and the return of Cleverley and you’re suddenly getting short of places. It would be hard on Antonio Valencia, arguably the best right winger in the league, to be left out. The same could also be said of Nani, who over the past two seasons has matured tremendously as a player. Ashley Young will surely be worried for his place in the side now as he’s nowhere near as talented as any of the above players. Then of course you have the likes of Hernandez, Welbeck and Berbatov who will now be warming the bench (or in the case of Berbatov keeping an eye on the team bus).

I definitely don’t think it’s a bad signing by Manchester United. Certainly if he manages to stay fit then Van Persie is one of the best players in the world. My most immediate concern would be his fitness and the effect it would have on the rest of the squad. As for Arsenal, they really shouldn’t get too down about his departure. Better for him to leave now for a decent fee that leave next summer for nothing. Plus, the signing on Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud leaves the squad in a much better place up front. Add to that the transfer fee from the Van Persie sale and there’s money left for new players.

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