Gunners defensive legend Martin Keown believes Arsene Wenger’s side can cope with the inevitable loss of Van Persie, but feels the Frenchman must sign another ‘world star’ to prove they aren’t a selling club.
Fans are fearing that the Van Persie transfer saga will affect the Gunners start to the season in the same manner that the Nasri & Fabregas conundrum did last year, but Keown believes Wenger will not allow a repeat of the dilemma and feels the squad is far more adept than this time last year.
Keown said at a BT London Live event in Hyde Park:
At least van Persie has come out early and declared that he wants to leave.
Last year when it was Nasri and Fabregas it impacted so much on the group that when they were seven games in it was like a relegation fight. And I think this round this won’t happen if van Persie goes. I think the squad is stronger both mentally and in quality.
We’re almost kind of getting used to losing top players now, it’s just a shame that so many are going.
If we look back to Dennis Bergkamp coming to the club, when he came to the club, it was kind of like ‘Christ!’ That was a real wake-up call – he came in, everyone took note, Arsenal’s going in a different direction. Arsenal could almost do with one of those world stars coming in again.
We can all certainly agree that Wenger needs to buy a star name this summer to compliment Podolski (and to a certain degree Giroud) but there aren’t many available. Carzola seems a given and hopefully that will eventuate this week, but M’Vila seems a no-go now with Wenger (as per usual) deciding to keep faith with Coquelin and Frimpong as back up to Song.
Defensively we are poor depth-wise. First choice fullback pairing Sagna and Gibbs are quality, but the jury is still out on backups Jenkinson and Santos, while using Koscielny, Djourou and Vermaelen as wide covers was woeful. What I cannot understand is why Liverpool’s Jose Enrique was not bought last summer, and then AC Milan’s Taiwo in January as both would have been exceptional purchases for cheap (Wenger’s favourite word).
So perhaps Arsenal’s main focus should be to bring in one world class striker if Van Persie leaves this summer, Carzola or an attacking minded midfielder, and a couple of wide defensive acquisitions – or maybe this is all just wishful thinking.
What are your thoughts? Who do you think Arsenal need to buy this summer? Feel free to comment below or in allArsenal’s forum under the summer transfer window thread