van Persie-United talk hits Arsenal fans where it hurts

Both Manchester clubs have given Arsenal plenty of grief in the recent past, but it will still hurt more if Robin van Persie were to go to Alex Ferguson’s team rather than Roberto Mancini’s. City’s recent picking of Arsenal’s ripe talent has its roots in the club’s overall expansion and is devoid of any personal undertones. However, United’s bolstering at Arsenal’s expense, by acquiring their best player, cuts more deeply for a welter of personal reasons. It was not too long ago that Arsenal were United’s strongest rivals, and Wenger Ferguson’s greatest managerial foe. It would have been unthinkable then for Arsenal to be forced to sell their best player for the benefit of their most important rival. For Arsenal to now effectively play the feeder club role to Manchester United through the van Persie sale would be a painful and fresh reminder of how they have diminished in stature while United have kept growing. Add to that the image of van Persie and Rooney dovetailing together to score against Arsenal next season, and it is easy to see why his possible switch to United provokes stronger feelings than to his other two suitors.

Tactically speaking, fans may also wonder what Arsenal’s voluntary strengthening of both their Manchester rivals says about their ambition for the new Premier League season. This is a club that should not accept the status quo proposed last season of both Manchester clubs being a cut above the rest, and preventing United from becoming the first club to reach City’s plane through the acquisition of van Persie would demonstrate this.

If he has to go, better Arsenal explore and exhaust these options in the following order: Juventus, then City and then – only if the price is agreed on Arsenal’s terms without compromise – United.

6 thoughts on “van Persie-United talk hits Arsenal fans where it hurts

  1. I reckon RVP will stay if sahin and carzola become a gunner…. Sahin will suit arsenal! looking forward to that switch.. also looking forward to see more of oxlade – he’s gonna kill it for the gunners in the coming season

    • There are tentative rumours that Sahin might replace Song, who Barcelona have become interested in and whose often reckless adventurism doesn’t please Wenger. All talk at this stage, but hypothetically, that isn’t a switch I would mind seeing. Sahin probably is more disciplined and technical than Song, who still seems to give the ball away more than he creates winning passes.

      As for RVP, I wouldn’t count against that horse bolting until the final minute of the transfer window passes and he’s still at the Emirates. And yes, Oxlade will hopefully grow more and more this season. He’s looked good in preseason already and playing alongside Cazorla can only boost his development.

    • Agreed. I only stated that because it’s a real possibility and, if it comes to pass, we should make sure we fleece them for as much as possible. Nevertheless, it would be a humiliation that would even outstrip losing to them 8-2 last year, and one that Arsenal fans would be reminded of week-in, week-out. The fact that it would most likely work for United and RVP to Arsenal’s detriment just makes it even more difficult to swallow.

  2. Honestly, I seriously doubt that this transaction will go through. I think it is fair to say that the Arsenal project look more appealing to RVP at this stage, as slowly we are seeing apparent signs of Arsenal’s ambition. I agree that they cannot compare with big spenders such as Chelsea and Man City due to their empty trophy closet as well as their financial rigidity, however with the acquisition of Giroud, Cazorla and Podolski, as well as the incoming talents of the likes of Wilshere and the Ox, perhaps RVP will stay.

    Additionally from the Manutd viewpoint, do we really need a striker of RVP’s calibre? Let’s face it, RVP is not getting any younger and is a declining asset at the age of 29, and has been injury prone throughout his career. This is why I find it hard to understand where he will fit in a United side which already possesses such a young and strong Forward line. We have made the mistake in the past to invest big in a striker in his late 20s with Berbatov, and I honestly doubt SAF will make this mistake again with RVP. The real positions Manchester United need to look at are possibly its left back position due to an aging Patrice Evra, and a true creative midfielder that could possibly replace the likes of Paul Scholes. At this stage I am not too worried after seeing what Tom Cleverly and Shinji Kagawa have to offer. If Anderson finally fulfills his potential and this new acquisition Nick Powell is as good as he is made out to be, I think we might be in a decent position.

    • Cleverly, Kagawa and Powell may be decent options for the long-term but Man United need an immediate boost in quality if they are to close the gap to City apparent last season straightaway. Van Persie and presumably Moura, given the kind of sums being bandied around his name, offer them this. Bizarre as it may seem, I feel Sir Alex would be willing to pay slightly over the odds for RVP only if he first lands his primary target of Moura; if that signing falls through then I don’t think he would be anywhere near as interested in meeting Arsenal’s asking price. Together, the 50-odd million required for Moura and RVP might make sense, but to pay anything more than 18-odd million for RVP on his own without strengthening the midfield behind him seems less prudent.

      All that said, we’re being reminded of how the changing football landscape is squeezing the traditional football powers. I hear PSG may be outbidding United on Moura, just as City did with Sneijder last season. United also have a proud record of youth development, and Sir Alex carries out many of the same values held by Wenger to great effect, but there comes a point where the cash reserves of opponents can seem overwhelming. United need some help from the Glazers’ vanishing pockets, and should they fail to land another target before the transfer window closes, I doubt Kagawa and Powell’s additions will be enough.

      Last point: even though he is injury-prone, there is no doubt Van Persie will not go missing as often as Berbatov did and that the thought of his potential pairing with Rooney should be thrilling to Manchester United fans.

      From an Arsenal standpoint, here’s hoping your prediction sticks!

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