Another season has come to an end and yet again Arsenal are facing the prospect of losing their best player. Their captain and talisman Robin van Persie has one year remaining on his current contract and as expected the vultures are circling for his signature.
Initial reports suggest that he is contemplating a move away from the Emirates this summer after talks ended in stalemate last week. Having witnessed his great friend Cesc Fabregas leave the club last summer few could blame the Dutch striker for wanting to leave North London.
Unfortunately for Arsenal their lack of success in recent seasons has seen many of their top stars leave the club to seek silverware elsewhere. Interestingly most of the better players have gone on to win various trophies at their next club and this is something that will not escape RVP’s attention (or his agent’s). Even though Barcelona have failed to win La Liga or the European Champions League this season Fabregas has still already won three trophies this season (and should compete for their fourth against Athletic Bilbao on Friday).
There were of course another two high profile departures last summer with Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri deciding that Manchester City offered a more realistic chance of silverware than Arsenal. After considerable criticism from the fans both players were vindicated with City’s Premier League triumph this season. It is easy to see why many of the Arsenal players view the club as a stepping stone to future success.
If you go back even further there are even more examples. Thierry Henry enjoyed initial success at Arsenal but when the club began to stagnate he left for Barcelona where he won seven major titles as a player in three seasons. Of course there is then one of the chief protagonists in the Van Persie saga; Patrick Vieira.
After years of transfer rumours Vieira finally departed Arsenal for Juventus in 2005 after scoring their decisive penalty kick against Manchester United in the FA Cup, which was their last trophy. He enjoyed considerable success in Italy where he won six titles during his spells with Inter Milan and Juve. He is of course now working at Manchester City and will be involved heavily with attempting to lure Van Persie to the newly crowned Premier League champions.
This situation must be incredibly frustrating for Arsenal fans and everyone associated with the club. However, it is a situation they seem to continually find themselves in every year and when you look back at history it suggests RVP will leave for pastures new this summer.