"No" - you would say if you are an Arsenal fan!
Robin van Persie has been with Arsenal for almost 8 years now! He joined the team when Arsenal were in the best form of their lives. He has seen the best and now possibly the worst of Arsenal in his tenure. The striker has seen his colleagues like Fabregas and Nasri leave the team for "better opportunities". He now has a team to lead and is yet to extend his contract with Arsenal. From RVP's perspective, he's hit the nail on the head! Other clubs beware, our captain will be available soon!
No one will deny that RVP is in the best form of his life. He's already 29 and age is already catching up on him. The decision to switch will surely be one of the biggest decision he has made in his career. But will he make the switch?
|Robin van Persie's reaction when Chamberlain was substituted in the match against Man Utd|
Current state of Arsenal: Arsenal is going through a flip-flop season. They were in the dumps at the start of the season, then the sudden revival and now on its way to the dumps again at the beginning of this year. The promise, the effort is there to be seen on the ground, but not the results. The biggest challenge (and now, the only challenge) for Arsene Wenger's boys would be regaining the top 4 spot in the premier league and hope for a better performance next season. At one point of time, the injury list was as big as the team itself! Arsene Wenger is still not keen to enter the transfer market and look for alternatives. Among the fit players, Gervinho hasn't set the ground on fire, Chamakh and Arshavin aren't even threatening. Midfield is still a crisis despite having Mikel Arteta. And by now, the world knows about Arsenal's defence.
Options in front of RVP: RVP has 2 options now - Extend the contract (with a better pay package, of course) and stay with Arsenal, become a legend just like Thierry Henry. The challenges here are huge - for one, he will have to lead his team, win trophies and end the drought period for Arsenal. Given the current form, Arsenal might just miss the cut for Champions League next season. That's another sacrifice RVP will have to make. The other option is the easy way out - switch to be with a better performing team at the moment with a much better package. So, finance won't be an issue and he will have a team who's more capable (considering present form) to win a silverware! Exactly like Samir Nasri.
Arsene Wenger should definitely consider buying a striker as good as RVP so that he can rotate them in matches and if needed, use them together to form a potent attack. This will also be a backup incase (and just incase) RVP decides to look elsewhere.
This season, in more ways than one, will be a make or break season for Arsenal and RVP.
PS: This is an article I wrote for eyefootball.com in January. Here's the original article. I am reproducing the article here after Arsenal lost the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match against AC Milan (4-0, we didn't lose, we were destroyed) and the FA cup match against Sunderland (2-0) in a week's time.