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October 13, 2011 / benwolfson08

The Robin van Persie dilemma

The 28-year old Dutch international has been Arsenal's captain following the departure of Cesc Fabregas

Robin van Persie is Arsenal’s best player that goes without saying. The Dutchmen has been a fixture on Arsenal since 2004 and despite injuries in his career, the striker has reached the 100 goal mark with the club earlier this season and is now the captain of a young team.

The reason I bring up Van Persie is after reading this excellent in depth article from a fellow blog  7amkickoff.com.


This blog posts addresses a recent article from the Daily Mail how during the January transfer window that Manchester City will look to add the Dutchman to their squad.

Having turned 28 this season, Van Persie is in line for one more major contract before his playing career is up. Looking at the season Arsenal is having so far and its been extremely discouraging. Of course Robin says he wants to stay in North London, but looking at it when he wants to compete for silverware should he move clubs?

Arsene Wenger made Van Persie the captain this season after selling Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Van Persie has been in top form so far this year.

Is it enough that Van Persie is the captain of Arsenal to convince him to stay, or will Wenger continue to add to the team in the transfer window of January?

The rest of Arsenal’s core is very young — Jack Wilshere is 19, Aaron Ramsey 21, Alex Song 24, Thomas Vermaelen 25, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 18, Ryo Miyaichi 17, Kieran Gibbs 23, Theo Walcott 22, and Wojciech Szczesny 21.

Arsenal realistically is too young and injured to compete for a title this season, despite Van Persie’s form.

One thing I took from the 7amkickoff article is that Van Persie is without question a top-5 striker in the EPL, and one of the best in the world.

He is in the conversation with Kun Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, and others for the top strikers in the premier league. Don’t forget that last year’s Golden Boot winners — Carlos Tevez and Dmitri Berbatov don’t even play for their respective squads.

This is the most telling part from the 7amkickoff article:

“Robin has never broken the magical “20 goals in the Premier League” number but when you look at when Torres was most effective he was getting a goal or an assist at a .95 rate in the League but also not doing anything in Europe. And Liverpool weren’t even in the Champions League.

Apart from his first two seasons Robin van Persie’s numbers in the League have been consistently very good. If you see a striker who averages a goal or assist per appearance, you are looking at someone who is basically worth his weight in pound notes.  But everything about the numbers above is so mind-boggling. Consider the fact that Robin has been so consistent over time. Or that he’s been hampered by injury (strikers are notorious for finding and losing form). Or just his record in Champions League play, which is truly outstanding. And if you wonder what he would have been able to do for Arsenal given a nice long run without injury… well, he’s scored 100 career Arsenal goals, right? 26 of those goals have come in this calendar year.

26% of his career goals have come in this run where he has not been injured. You all better touch wood right now to ward off that demon.”

Injury free, Van Persie is showing why he’s among the world’s elite. Even though Manchester City have Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and the benched Carlos Tevez they might throw down more money for Van Persie? It doesn’t make sense.

Van Persie and Walcott have an excellent chemistry creating scoring chances for Arsenal and I believe they need to stick together up front. Arsenal has too many key players injured now for a significant amount of time to make a rash decision and decide to sell their best player.

I hope the board realizes the importance of the captain and also Walcott and decides to fork up the money to keep them. If we can’t keep those players there is no point in pretending we’re anything more than a feeder club to Manchester City and Barcelona.

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