Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood strangely said he is still mystified that Robin Van Persie is determined to quit the Emirates. Hill-Wood says he understood Fabregas wanting to go back home but he does not understand Van Persie’s actions especially after the season he had with the club.
There are two ways to view this statement; either this Hill-Wood character is completely dense or truly the entire Arsenal establishment just does not get football and what it is about – trophies.
Let me untwist the situation. Fabregas did not leave Arsenal to go back home, he went back to Barcelona to win trophies and that is all Van Persie wants to do.
There are three options for Van Persie so far – Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United. Which one should he pick?
Danny Mills formerly of Chelsea and Bruce Pallister formerly of Manchester United both suggested via BBC last week that the obvious destination is Manchester United because that club has a bigger winning culture than any other club he can choose; and it’s hard to disagree.
City just won their first title in decades and in rather astounding circumstances. There exists serious doubt over whether they can get so lucky again. Juventus are a much more solid proposition but the Italian Serie A is not the EPL and the level of competition is just not the same.
Further, City are a rotation squad otherwise the egos involved cannot coexist.
In an attack comprising Mario Balotelli who just had the most confidence boosting period of his career at the Euros, Sergio Aguero the only striker guaranteed of a starting berth at the club, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko, Van Persie would have to take a significant dip in playing time. Naturally one of them may have to leave to make room but Aguero and Balotelli are certainly not leaving, Tevez possibly but unlikely and Dzeko the fourth choice will probably be the one to make way, still not good odds.
Manchester United have finished without a trophy for the first time in three years. But they have made two Champions League finals in that time as well. The truth is Van Persie is assured of more playing time at United than anywhere else.
Danny Wellbeck is a great kid but there is no way he keeps Van Persie on the bench. Javier Hernandez is the only problem particularly if he hits form, but that is a level of competition Van Persie can deal with.
Manchester United are a winning club, Van Persie knows this, he has had a front row seat for eight years, plus a partnership between him and Wayne Rooney could make the most lethal attack in club football.
Arsenal are at the moment refusing to sell, hoping for a fee in the region of £25m and are even threatening to keep Van Persie until January. The problem with that approach is Van Persie put himself on the market just like Nasri did last season and at the end of the day Arsenal have to sell or risk getting nothing or peanuts.
Chelsea have signed Brazilian Oscar from Sao Paolo and the £25m involved is probably the best money Abramovich has ever spent. Catch Brazil at the Olympics to see what I mean.
Lastly, rumours of Kaka leaving Real Madrid this summer to make way for Luka Modric is a tragic shame. In my books, Kaka is still one of the best players in the world and he just needs an injury free season and a manager willing to play him a lot more to confirm it.