As a football fan, I couldn’t be more relieved that there is a major tournament taking place this summer.
Regardless of how overhyped they may be, the European Championships represent salvation from more lackluster competitions. No longer am I so desperate to watch a game that I’m willing to subject myself to the suffering involved with watching Arsenal’s preseason matches over a poor internet connection; accidently clicking on a “You are Today’s Lucky Winner” advertisement and groaning in agony because it’s likely I’ve infected my computer with hundreds of viruses in the process.
One illness that the Euros will not be able to remedy this summer is the rabid and fanatical transfer rumor mill. Despite my best efforts to do the opposite, it’s hard not to be enticed by articles claiming that players like Eden Hazard or Benzema could be joining the Gunners. Websites with no credible sources constantly link Arsenal with certain players, even though the transfer will never come to fruition.
What personal advantage can possibly be gained from knowing who the club plans to purchase before the deal is actually complete is difficult to explain. I suppose new purchases supply every fan with hope; that this season will be better than the last, that Arsenal are finally exhibiting some ambition in the transfer market. In reality, a balance between everything that these rumors say is happening taking place and nothing happening at all transpires each summer and this summer will certainly be no different. Arsenal has been blessed with another “transfer saga”, this time in the form of Robin Van Persie and his ongoing contract negotiations.
The situation surrounding Arsenal’s talismanic captain is complicated, but there are reasons to be optimistic. Van Persie’s family have recently revealed that they are in favor of him staying at Arsenal, as they seem to be comfortable with their lifestyle and enjoy the support he receives from Gunner’s fans.
Ivan Gazidis declared that he and Arsene Wenger had held “good” discussions with Robin, which is encouraging. Although the period before the Euro’s began was very short, had Van Persie decided outright to leave Arsenal, there would be many more concrete rumors of bids rather than murmurs of interest. Gazidis talked about how the club would’ve ideally liked to resolve all of its business before the tournament. Due to the major reshuffle that Van Persie’s sale would cause, it’s unlikely that he has made the decision to leave as Wenger wants most to avoid being left without a plan to purchase a replacement, and would rather sell him early in the window.
The more likely scenario is that Robin has yet to decide whether he will sign a new contract or simply stay for one more year and then depart if no trophies are won. The positive side of this state of affairs is that it will cause Arsene Wenger to think critically about how he can persuade Van Persie to stay in order to avoid restructuring the squad. Evidence of this lies in the early signing of Podolski and attempts to court Yann M’Villa and Oliver Giroud. Wenger is always happy to find an excuse to bring in new French players.
The best possible outcome in this summer’s ordeal would involve the signing of these two players and possibly one more to bolster the full back position, subsequently followed by Robin Van Persie signing a new contract and leading the Gunners to glory! For Arsenal fans, my advice would be to enjoy the Euros, not take most of the rumors published on the web too seriously, and hope that the man who scores when he wants will sign when he wants.