July 18, 2012
Robin Van Persie’s appearance back in full training and the subsequent photos on the club’s website have prompted a fresh round of stories about his future. According to today’s papers Robin is sitting down for talks with Arsene Wenger either today or tomorrow or the talks have already begun. The club will force him to come along on the Far East tour which starts this Saturday or make him stay behind and train alone before selling him to the highest bidder who will be Juventus or Manchester City or Manchester United or alternatively they’ll making him see out the remainder of his contract.
It’s pretty much up in the air still then.
All we really do seem to agree on is that his hair’s gone really grey. Speculation was rife yesterday that it’s as a result of the stress he’s felt over deciding on his future or because his wages at Arsenal are so paltry that he can’t afford any more Just For Men. I suspect there might be something more sinister to it. I don’t think he’s going grey at all. I think he’s had white highlights put in giving his head a black and white striped effect signalling his intention to sign a deal with Juventus (or Newcastle) (or Grimsby).
Obviously the decision whether or not to take him on tour is relatively straightforward. If no decision has yet been made to offload him or a definitive decision has been made to keep him then he should go. Until the club decides otherwise he is an Arsenal player and as such should perform all the duties associated with that role as best he can. But I hope that in some ways Saturday is providing something of an artificial deadline for the club to make their decision.
As I’ve said before I’ll be reasonably happy whatever that decision is. If we decide to cash in and sell to the highest bidder then fine. Let’s do that, get it done, reinvest the money. If we can convince him to sign a new deal even better. And if we want to force the issue and make him stay until the end of his deal and allow him to go on a freebie then that’s good too. As long as whatever happens it’s our decision, on our terms and we make it soon. Nothing would give our summer more of a boost in my opinion than the club being strong and telling us what they’ve decided to do, preferably before we head off on tour.
The club took the rare step yesterday of announcing a transfer deal before it was signed and sealed when they informed us that Carlos Vela is in discussion with Real Sociedad over a move. Bit of a sad one for me this. It’s easy to forget how much fanfare there was when Vela signed and some real early promise marked with his love of a chipped goal and that hat-trick on his full debut against Sheffield United in the League Cup. There was that bloke who set up the Carlos Vela News website, plus a mate of mine came up with one of the funniest chants I’ve ever heard for him (to the tune of Summer Nights from Grease: ‘Vela, Vela, Vela OOH. Score a goal, score a goal, score a bloo-oody goal!’ Brilliant. Imagine the whole of the Emirates singing that. Camp as anything obviously but let’s not forget we are the fans who used to sing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ to Freddie Ljungberg on a regular basis).
Unfortunately we’ll never get to sing that song as he never realised his full promise for us but it’s interesting that last season on loan at Sociedad he looked like he was finally starting to bloom. 12 goals and 8 assists in 35 league appearances is a pretty good record so it’s ironic that now is the time we decide to let him go. Obviously the decision has been taken and he’s not considered to be up to scratch for the Arsenal first team but it does flag up an issue with our recruitment policy over the last few years. If you sign players when they’re 18, unless they’re really exceptional like Cesc Fabregas or Jack Wilshere, the chances are you’re not going to see the best of them for at least four or five years.
The trouble is that by the time those four or five years are up and the player has been shunted from club to club on loan or stuck in the reserves they’ve fallen out of love with Arsenal and are ready to move on. As I say, Vela may never be good enough for us but it seems a shame that it’s Sociedad or some other club that will see his best years.
Still we wish Carlos luck in the future. Who could fail to love that cheeky smile of his. Plus I’m sure we’ve got a decent sell on fee clause in the contract.
Finally, what better time to announce a new teenage striker signing and we could be about to do just that after Caen reportedly accepted our bid for 17 year old M’Baye Niang. We’ll still face competition from the likes of Man City of course but here’s hoping we’ve already got in his head a bit having had him at Colney on trial and of course the Wenger factor never hurts.
I look forward to seeing him banging in the goals…for some Spanish team after he leaves us in five years time frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities. That was a joke. I’m joking. Come on.
Have a good one.
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