Robin Van Persie has frustrated and delighted Arsenal fans over the last 8 years, as he put in scintillating displays marred by long periods of injury. But all good things must come to an end as RVP appears to be on his way out of North London. The Dutchman is swapping London for Manchester as a deal worth £24 million was secured between Arsenal and Manchester United late on Wednesday evening.
For the past month there has been confusion, outrageous bids and one constant message – that Van Persie is on his way out of Arsenal. The Dutch forward made it clear to Arsene Wenger that he would not be signing a new contract and saw his future elsewhere. Where his future lay was a solid mystery as Wenger had a set amount he wanted for the Dutch Maestro, it was a valuation that had to be met and it sparked off a battle between Europe’s top clubs.
Rumoured to be interested in the forward was Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Lyon, Paris Saint Germain and Juventus.
Arsenal and Premier League fans alike were beginning to face up to the reality that not only was he leaving, but he could be leaving the greatest league in the world. The thought of this was harrowing at best as many of the Premier leagues great players had traded the cold harsh weather for sun, sea, Sangria and Senorita’s.
Yet just days after the agreement between United and Arsenal had supposedly hit a snag, a deal has been confirmed keeping one of the Premiership’s finest strikers in his adopted home. The move is subject to a medical, but if the transfer goes through United may have pulled of a real coup.
There is no doubting Van Persie’s talent; there is always a hanging question over the players fitness, since joining Arsenal Van Persie has only been 100% fit for two seasons. These two seasons happened to be his most prolific and may have helped to engineer this move as he has scored a total of 48 goals in 63 games since 2010-2012. That is an incredible strike rate that is only bettered by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Before that Van Persie only chipped in with one or two goals per campaign.
A hell of a strike rate, one that has caused Arsenal fans to demand loyalty from the Dutchman. They feel he should have showed the same loyalty that they showed in him when he was not finding the back of the net every game.
Manchester United and Alex Ferguson will not care about loyalties as long as he shows that rich vein of form that helped propel Arsenal to fourth last season. Many professionals in the game have been quick to praise Fergie for his managerial shrewdness once again.
Former England manager Graham Taylor in particular praised Sir Alex Ferguson for securing his new front man; just days after the deal appeared to have hit a snag. “Ferguson’s done it again,” he said. “This gives United an edge in the title race. If Robin van Persie performs like he has done for Arsenal he’s going to be a great addition.”
So Arsenal lose another quality player and Manchester United have gained another, as the Premier League draws ever closer, the main question remains, will Robin Van Persie be a success or failure?