After Robin van Persie, who for the time being remains the Arsenal captain, announced that he will not extend his contract with the Gunners, speculations have arisen whether the remaining star players in the London side will follow him.
RVP, who was the sole reason why the London side was able to finish third in Premier League this year, decided to spend only one more season at the Emirates, claiming that he disagrees on the way Arsenal FC should move forward. It is a move that was somewhat expected, but no one truly wanted to face the reality of the situation. For several years now, Arsenal have had a difficulty keeping world class players at the club, as they leave with the desire to win titles, and achieve success. Although Arsene Wenger’s side plays an attractive brand of football, and have been recognized as the team with the best passing game in the Premier League, even that title has eluded them in recent times.
So, with the Gunners not being the most successful team or the most enjoyable team to watch, what is left then? Since the glory days of the invincibles of 2004, there has not been much to celebrate in north London. Arsene Wenger has stubbornly avoided purchasing top class players, as he rather buys young prosperous footballers, who then, once they reach their footballing climax decide to leave the club. But who can blame them really? They are talented players who only wish to succeed in their profession, and unfortunately, the only way to do so, is to win titles.
I personally love the style of play that Arsenal has, as well as all the players that Arsene Wenger brings in, but he should consider building a stronger squad by adding more established players to his team. Naturally everyone would like a team full of home bread stars, like Barcelona have, but it cannot happen overnight. Wenger has brought in several young players, who evolved into superstars, but they decided to leave, simply because there was to much youth around them, and they felt the club was going in the wrong direction. A problem which was also addressed by van Persie.
And who is to say, that Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere won’t follow their captain. Both of those players have a very bright future, Wilshere even more so than Walcott, and is seems as though eventually all the great players at Arsenal become very tempted to leave the club. Players like Wojciech Szczesny, who will one day surly be the best keeper in the world, not to mention the exploding talent which is Oxlade-Chamberlain might also leave one day. Once they realize that they have hit the celling at a club stuck in an unenviable position of always finishing second, they will probably go for the exit, even though they might claim otherwise.
Some say the recent purchases of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud could change certain things, I beg the differ. Podolski has never really proven his worth at club level, and I doubt a whole will change in London. Yes, he will score some goals, but he will not be a difference maker. As for Giroud, he has had a semi successful career, but their is still a huge difference between being a top striker in Ligue 1 and the Premier League.
At the end of the day, what does the future hold for the Gunners? Many share the same opinion that van Persie should be sold, but I doubt that Wenger will allow that, as he will try to utilize his captain until the very end, as he did with Fabregas. Once the Dutch striker eventually departs, that will leave a huge hole in the squad, not to mention the fact that others will most likely soon follow. After all, Arsenal have recently been RVP or bust. So the best way for Arsenal to keep the most crucial players, is for Wenger to change his squad structure and above all, his transfer market strategy.