Why RvP will stay at Arsenal and extend his contract
I will attempt to tackle the issue at hand by considering the views of the board, Wenger and most importantly Robin van Persie.
Board’s point of view
1. Healthy Bank balance
Profits to the tune of £50 million were announced recently which means that Arsenal do not have to sell their captain for a hefty sum to balance the books.
2. Risk of enraging the fans
The fans were irate at the beginning of the season when ticket prices were raised by 6.5% and the horrendous performances against United and Blackburn away from home. There have been grumblings all season about the squad’s depth and the fans will definitely not take kindly to their best performer being sold. The board cannot risk irking the fans further and face massive protests.
3. Loss of Income via Merchandise Sale
It would be safe to assume that RvP shirts and memorabilia sells more than that of any other Arsenal player. Selling him lead to a significant loss of income on that front.
Wenger’s point of view
1. Irreplaceable Player and Role Model
It wont matter who joins Arsenal this summer, a player in the kind of form Persie has been for more than a year now will be impossible to find. He is probably the most complete forward playing in Europe .
2. Influential Captain
Both on and off the pitch, RvP’s influence in galvanizing the squad has been huge.
On the pitch, he can single-handedly turn a match in his favour as seen very recently at Anfield. Volleys, headers, tap-ins, chips, free kicks et al, he makes the hardest of techniques look effortless.
Off the pitch, the Arsenal backroom staff has said that they have not seen socializing of this magnitude in the last few years with RvP’s spouse, Bouchra, organising get-togethers and dinners frequently.
All this has definitely reflected on the team’s performance on the pitch and their spirited fightbacks can be attributed to this. Arsenal have recovered the highest number of points by any team from a losing position this season.
3. Offer huge pay raise and signing on fee
Wenger will definitely tempt RvP by offering him a huge pay packet at the end of the season to stay like he did with Henry in 2006.
4. Last option – Run down the contract
If RvP does not renew his contract, Wenger will be adamant on retaining his services rather than let his star player leave for a petty sum and risk another poor start to the new season.
RvP’s point of view
1. Wenger’s support during his injury-laden years
To say that Arsene Wenger has been patient with the injuries of RvP is an understatement. No other manager or team would have kept such a player on their payroll no matter how talented he might be. Keeping that in mind, RvP definitely owes Wenger a lot, not for just making him the player that he is today, but also being patient enough and trusting him with the responsibility of captaining one of the greatest teams.
2. Dream of Playing for Arsenal
RvP in his youth at Feyenoord said, it was his dream to play for a club like Arsenal. Now not only does he captain them, he is their best player and the current fan-favourite. In short, he is living the dream that any young footballer dreams of.
Why would he trade it for being a bit-player in a different culture, unknown manager, unknown team-mates and fans who do not worship the ground he walks on?
3. Rapport with Current Team-Mates
RvP has developed an excellent understanding with Arteta , Walcott and Song who chip in with valuable assists time and again. Also, he is a very close friend of Rosicky who has been giving stellar performances recently. Also, previously mentioned in Wenger’s views the extensive socialising plays a big role too.
4. Family Happily Settled in London
His family are very happy to stay in London. So much so, that RvP has enrolled his son , Shaqeel , in Arsenal’s youth Academy. It’s a country that he’s been in for a long time now and would be reluctant to leave.
5. WHAT IF HE SUFFERS A LONG TERM INJURY?
Robin van Persie has been fit for the most part since January 2011 and has gone to break records of all sorts at Arsenal as well as in the Premier League. However, that does not ensure that he is no longer injury-prone.
In the event that Wenger and the board block RvP from leaving in the summer and he has to honour his contract, what happens if he suffers an injury and is sidelined for say 3-4 months towards the end of the season 2013? His contract would have run out and no team would touch him with a barge pole including Arsenal. And forget the astronomical wages and the vulgar signing on fees offered by the likes of Manchester City.
All in all, it appears that the best decision for all parties concerned is that RvP signs a new contract in the summer making him the highest paid Arsenal player with wages in the region of 120k-130k per week. Arsenal retain their captain while Robin van Persie goes down in the annals of Arsenal’s history as a legend.