Van Persie has left us and signed for our bitter rivals. We don’t like it, we’re not happy, BUT, there is no point dwelling over this or focusing all our attention on this. When Van Persie didn’t sign his contract last summer, he forfeited millions of pounds in additional wages. The reason? Because he was always going to move to another club. At the beginning of the summer, when we signed Giroud and Podolski, it was obviously done so in order to compensate for the departure of Van Persie.
Giles Grimandi basically summed up this week about a month ago when he categorically stated that Giroud was a replacement for Van Persie:
“Was Olivier Giroud signed to compensate for [Van Persie’s] departure? Yes, we worked to avoid finding ourselves in a corner. But we are doing everything we can to keep him and we want him to stay with us. However, if there is an exceptional offer and he wants to leave, keeping him will be tough. I would never have thought, for example, that Thiago Silva could be transferable but he was for a while. There are variables that can’t be controlled.”
So why are we so shocked when it does actually happen? There are two elements to this transfer:
- The fact it’s happened, Van Persie has been sold.
- The fact he has been sold to Man United.
Now, I don’t think many people have a massive problem with the first issue, but more people have an issue with the second. If he were sold to Juventus, then things may be different. But he wasn’t – he was sold to Man United… time for a Q&A?
Why was Van Persie sold?
If you remember this article, it said it all, http://worldofarsenal.co.uk/2012/05/18/why-robin-is-going-to-be-sold/, but to summarize… Robin didn’t sign his contract last season.
If you are a football player and you’re offered an increased contract, you’d sign it. Why? Because you’d get paid more money. It’s a no brainer. If Robin is on £80k a week and his new contract is £120k a week, then bot signing it would mean that you’d lose out on £40k a week, which is £2m. The only time you’d not sign and risk losing out on £2m is if you were planning to leave in Summer. No matter what the sentiment is – footballers are after money – and Van Persie is no different. Van Persie sent out a statement to the affect in July too. So, with that in mind, there is no real reason why we wouldn’t sell him. The issue was how we would sell him.
If a player doesn’t sign a contract and doesn’t want to be at the club, we have no choice but to sell him. £220k a week is way more than we can afford and actually way more than United can afford. £220k a week results in £11.5m per year. A four year contract = £45m. If you add that to the £24m outlay, you’re looking at £69m. We’ve saved £45m in wages and gained £24m in a transfer fee. £69m is a lot of cash my friends. The key thing is that we spend money on players who can replace the Dutchman – and that is something we’ve already done in Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla.
Arsene said this today:
“He is at Manchester United, unfortunately for us. The transfer was finalised in the afternoon. It’s never great to lose players of that quality but he only had a year contract so we do not have a choice. We have already recruited since we Giroud and Podolski who originally were intended to offset the departure of van Persie.”
Why wasn’t Van Persie sold to a club outside the Premiership?
The bigger issue for many Arsenal fans, is why he was sold to Man United. Would we feel better if he was sold to Man City – probably, because it’s all about equality – if Man City are going to buy every player in the world, they might as well have all of ours – i.e. it keeps us on a similar level to Man United. But selling to Man United directly means they will be better than us, and it shifts us down the pecking order.
But, again, from the club’s perspective, we can only sell to clubs that want to buy. Juventus offered us £12m, Man City, £12m, Man United £12m. We rejected them all, but there comes a price. And £24m is that price and there was only one club who offered that. Yes, Van Persie is a good player, but £24m for someone in the last year of his contract, who wants to leave, who has an injury record like his is very good business.
Where is the player loyalty?
One thing to remember nowadays, is that there is no such thing as player loyalty.
I quote the player himself:
“The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt. I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it.”
Van Persie Snr said:
“It is impossible to go to another English team.”
The impossible is now the possible. Loyalty in the game is gone. Let nothing ever surprise you.
What do we do now?
Compensating for Van Persie’s loss saw the arrivals of Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla. Add that to the signings from last year in Oxlade, Gervinho, Arteta then our squad is not that bad, and although we do sell, we are very much a buying club. We’ve spent a fair bit on though 6 players – in the region of £70m. The key thing here is to get behind the team and ensure we support the players we do have. Signing Walcott to a new contract would be a good step too. His performances in recent times show that he is coming of age and he could really make his mark very soon.
- Support the team, get behind the new players and existing players
- Arsene, sign Walcott up
- Use the money wisely and get in another striker
- Use the money wisely and strengthen defensively
- Win, win, win and finish above Man United…
Our squad is looking quite decent at the moment, and as long as we supplement any areas we need to before the end of the transfer window, we can go into the new season excited and ready.