Arsenal fans may currently be enjoying a rich vein they find themselves in, whereby their club seems increasingly active in the transfer market, carrying out the strengthening that has been so badly craved season after season for the past few years.
One thing remains though, casting a shadow over everything Arsenal have done this summer. You don’t have to look far in the media for talk of Robin Van Persie’s failure to sign a new contract with the North London club thus far.
Nothing unfamiliar then. Another summer, another of Arsenal’s key players linked to a big money move elsewhere. The usual suspects are interested; Man City, Barcelona, and Chelsea depending on which gossip column you choose to delve into.
This summer simply cannot have the same familiarity as Arsenal have endured in the past however. Last summers relentless and tiresome speculation surrounding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri was hugely detrimental to their former clubs prospects in the 2011/12 season. Their eventual move away from the club resulted in three panic buys on the last day of the summer transfer window, and Arsenal had to endure their worst start to a Premier League season since boss Arsene Wenger took over in 1996.
Whether or not Van Persie stays is almost irrelevant, as merely a quick solution will help Arsenal. Obviously keeping hold of their 30 goal a season captain is the ideal outcome, but if Van Persie is set on leaving, there is no point on delaying the inevitable for the sake of faint hope. Parting company with the Dutchman (should that be the agreed outcome) should happen as quickly as possible so as to get rid of the shadow that is cast over Arsenal with all the speculation, as it has already been proven to do no favours.
Obviously there are reasons why the outcome can’t be reached immediately. At 29, Van Persie is likely to be signing his last major contract, irrespective of which club said contract is with. He will be eager to draw out speculation, negotiating for as best a deal as he can possibly attain. Arsenal are also believed to be in the middle of restructuring their wage bill, so finding where Van Persie’s new contract would leave him financially also needs to be resolved.
Whilst Arsene Wenger may be confident that Van Persie is staying, his reluctancy to confirm this in the form of a new contract being agreed is not helping the Gunners strengthen. If he is serious about strengthening his team for the upcoming season, then a Van Persie outcome will leave everyone knowing where they stand. Whether it’s adapting to life without him, or further building around their prolific striker, the sooner the resolution the better.