Gunners legendary defender Martin Keown claims its imperative that Arsenal give Robin van Persie time to decide his future and not rush him.
Van Persie currently has a media ban after initial talks ended in a stalemate prior to his departure to meet with the Netherlands Euro squad, and with his contract due to expire this time next year, Arsenal are eager to tie him down to a new deal.
While speculation is building that he is biding his time to view potential offers from other clubs, other reports are suggesting the club captain is waiting to see how Wenger moves in the transfer market to strengthen the side.
Manchester City are currently front runners for his signature (skybet are placing the move to Eastlands at 7/4), but that hasn’t stopped cash rich Anzhi Makhachkala expressing an interest in a reported £45m pound deal that could see Van Persie become one of the highest players on the planet by receiving over £300,000 a week tax-free.
But Keown believes feels Van Persie is less interested in money and Arsenal should give their talisman more time to allow him to clear his head and make the right decision as there are more factors in moving to a different club like settling into the new environment and adapting to a new life which at 28-years-old will not be easy for Van Persie and his family.
Keown is quoted by EspnSoccernet as saying:
We need to give Robin time and not suffocate him. Robin understands and we all understand he is very much a special player for Arsenal. The adulation and respect which he has at Arsenal – Robin has worked a footballing lifetime to get that.
If he leaves, he might find it hard to grow into another club with the respect he has here. However, he might feel he wants to go to a club where he thinks he can win things – that is probably the dilemma for him, rather than the financial one.
It is swapping the love for him here if he goes to another club. He might find it a little bit of a difficult transition which he does not want to make.
It is his heart against his head. It would be quite refreshing if a player decides: ‘This is my club. I am not going to play anywhere else and am going to show that faith and trust which was shown in me. I am going to believe in the project Arsenal have’.
We will have to see what answer he comes up with, but of course Arsenal are desperate for him to stay and have lost too many players in the past. If Van Persie were to go as well, it would take them a number of years to recover from that.
It is fair for the Dutchman to not rush into signing a new contract as he will want to survey the moves of manager Arsene Wenger this summer in the transfer market. He will want to seek some assurances that Arsenal will challenge on all fronts next season and not settle for third place. They certainly have the basis for a title winning side but need Van Persie’s signature and some other other additions once players surplus to requirements are sold.
Like Keown said, if Van Persie left it would take awhile to gain momentum again I feel as it has taken a season to get over the loss of Cesc and Na$ri (mainly Cesc) and without RVP’s influence the Gunners would’ve been in big trouble. But Podolski’s acquisition will have go some way to relieve the pressure on Van Persie, and I would like to see a couple more offensive weapons be acquired.
Personally two players that I would like to see Wenger bring in is Chelsea’s Solomon Kalou and Newcastle’s Ben Arfa. Kalou is on a free transfer this summer so would be a cheap signing like Poldi who will add more versatility and depth to the frontline as he can play up top or out wide. Ben Arfa may not be so readily available but he is a top talent that could potentially be Arsenal’s attacking midfielder to replace the ‘Fab-gap’ or play out wide.
Wenger rates Arfa very highly and once admitted he was interested in signing him years ago when he told the Sun: “If Ben Arfa is for sale, then we are very interested”. He would be a wonderful purchase don’t you think?
But on another note what is happening with Theo Walcott’s contract? The Englishman is too entering his final year of his contract and not much has been said on the issue. But as a younger player than Van Persie who has yet to hit his peak he should really re sign with the Gunners this summer.