Arsene Wenger certainly has a decisive summer ahead of him with the acquisition of Lukas Podolski loading up the striking options, and Van Persie’s contract talks looming.
The Gunners currently have the newly bought German international, star striker Robin van Persie, Marouane Chamakh and Ju Young Park, as well as on-loan trio Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela and youngster Joel Campbell that are set to return this summer.
Naturally the forwards need experience and playing time, but with the Gunners formation only allowing one striker, a solution needs to be made to suit all parties. Wenger admits there is some thinking to do and some big decisions need to be made in the coming months.
He told Arsenal’s official website:
That is a situation we have not sorted out yet but we will do that, of course, at the end of the season.
They need opportunities to play and some players didn’t get enough opportunities here during the season. We will try to give them an opportunity to play if they get the chance somewhere else.
Van Persie’s future is still undecided, and if the Gunners captain and talisman does not sign a fresh contract then it can throw a real spanner in the works for Wenger’s plans. But the Frenchman is quietly confident that the PFA & FWA Player of the Year will extend his terms, he continued:
I cannot guarantee that it will go smoothly but I am quite confident. I believe he is committed to the Club, I feel that the Club has shown great commitment to him over the years and put great faith in him.
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I brought him here a long, long time ago and he has developed fantastically well as a man and as a player. Today he is a world-class player and he deserves great credit. Hopefully we can keep him here.
If I was in his [situation] I would be relaxed. I am relaxed too. First of all when you open your newspapers you see a lot of clubs who want our players but I would just like to say that nobody is at the end of a contract. That means all the decisions are made by the Club.
[on a repeat of the Nasri fiasco] The situations are not completely comparable. My desire and my wish is to find an agreement with Robin van Persie, extend the contract and stay with us for a longer time. Hopefully we can reach that.
If that wouldn’t happen, we’ll still want him to stay but I am more focused on the first situation. I think what is important for us is that we find an agreement with him to be happy and to stay and finish his career here.
In terms of Van Persie’s future he will most likely stay. His family is settled, he is playing some fantastic football with a team that is developing well as a unit and will challenge for top honours next season. Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy should offer him top dollar so he will be earning what he should and will see out the remainder of his career in North London.
When Van Persie has signed his new contract (the power of positive thinking..) it will be like acquiring a new player and will probably be Arsenal’s signing of the summer! But when this does happen it will signal the end of a few players careers with the Gunners. Wenger will have to sort out whose future still lies at the Emirates and personally I would like to see Chamakh and Bendtner sold, with Park remaining as backup with Vela returning too. He has been in fine form in La Liga recently netting a goal every game it seems, and is a versatile forward that can play out wide if necessary. As for Campbell he needs more loan experience and is certainly not ready to make it with the Gunners, preferably a loan spell in England if he can gain a work permit.
What do you guys think? Are you keen to see Vela return to the Emirates? I feel its unfair to doubt Park’s ability as he hasn’t had the chance to perform and if Wenger is keen to keep him then that’s enough for me. Feel free to comment below..