So today it was announced that Robin Van Persie wouldn't be extending his contract at Arsenal due to a desire to win trophies and having differing views about the club's future. Arsenal's best player by a mile last season - Can they live without him?
RVP has been an integral part of the Arsenal team over the recent seasons, it is only this season that he has really excelled but nonetheless he is still a big player for them. With 37 goals in all competitions last season he will be dearly missed. Here's a stat for you - without RVP's goals Arsenal would have finished 16th in the league! This emphasises just how important he is to the club.
Arsene worked quickly to bring in new talent, the question is - was that to replace RVP or to convince him to stay by bringing in quality players? Who knows. In Lukas Podolski Arsenal have a proven forward who has just enjoyed a rather prolific season with FC Koln. The German has represented his nation on no fewer than 101 times, experience at that level is very valuable and this is one of the reasons why Arsene has 'splashed' out on him. He was recently joined by Montpellier's Olivier Giroud. The 6ft 3 Frenchman is, in my opinion, a gamble. Although quite successful in the French Ligue 1 last season that was only really his breakthrough season and he has nothing like the experience on the big stage that Podolski and RVP possess as he has only appeared 9 times for his country. Known for his physical style of play and heading ability Arsene has taken a gamble with him, which is rather unlike him but maybe he realises after 8 seasons without a trophy that it's time for a change.
Looking at the other talent remaining at the Emirates there is still a solid team even without RVP with the likes of Wilshere, Song and Vermaelen there is still the core of a good team, especially if you add in Arteta and Walcott. It will be interesting to see if Gervinho can really prove a point as with him on one wing and Walcott on the other providing countless crosses for Giroud, this sounds like a pretty good tactic. Podolski isn't an out and out striker, he can play just behind another striker too so maybe a formation could be made around him. The rest of Arsenal's squad is sound with a decent young keeper in Szczęsny, a good right back in Sagna, an improving centre back pairing in Vermaelen and Koscielny. I feel where they are really lacking is at left-back, Kieron Gibbs is still young and developing and André Santos didn't really set the world alight with his performance last year.
In conlusion, Arsenal's future depends on whether the new signings can deliver, Arsene has shown faith in them by paying quite large transfer fees by his standards and they will be keen to pay him back. The team has a good core and they should be alright but if they really want to push on and challenge for trophies Giroud and Podolski need to fill RVP's boots and they need to bring in some more quality in depth as last season they were forced to play the likes of Coquelin who lack the experience needed to win trophies.
Please leave a comment, I'd love to know who you think Arsenal should bring in or how well you think they will do without RVP next season! I've added a thumbs up or thumbs down rating, please vote!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!