With the shocking announcement of Arsenal star Robin van Persie, Arsene Wenger once again finds himself in a situation where he has to replace club captain. Signing top stars like Podolski and Giroud were not enough ambition for the dutch maestro as he rejected a contract extension to win trophies elsewhere.
Last year Arsenal sold captain Fabregas, however as the deal was finalized in the later stages of transfer season, Arsene did not have enough time left to find a quality player and ended up with a panic buy of Mikel Arteta. Although Arteta proved to be worth more than the sum spent on him as he was one of the key players for the club last season, still the gunner fans did expect a world class replacement. It will be crime to say that Arteta is better than Fabregas but he did well in his first season.
Now that van Persie has announced his potential departure early on in the transfer season, Arsenal have time to sell him to the highest bidder and sign a quality player to replace their talisman who scored no less than 30 league goals last season. The question is – how will Arsenal replace van Persie.
Gunners are not renowned for signing expensive players and heavy spending in the transfer market, yet they are one of the busiest teams this season having already signed Giroud and German international Podolski. The profit making reputation of Arsenal suggests that one cannot count the possibility of them signing no one to replace RVP. Instead the responsibility might be handed to the new signing Giroud to play lone striker upfront. Not to forget he was French league’s top scorer and influential in winning title but has to step up big time to fill the boots of van Persie.
With one year left on his contract, let’s say van Persie will be sold for 25-30 million at max. Then again Arsenal as per their policies will not look to reinvest whole of that sum to sign replacement. May be 15 odd million but with that cash it is highly unlikely to find someone who can replicate 30 goals a season or am I generalizing way too much. Still with that sum Arsenal can add a strike partner with Giorud and have Chamakh as backup. Someone like Luuk De Jong for 15 million can be decent strike partner or Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar who has a release clause of 20 million.
Signing a proven goal scorer by reinvesting whatever sum gained from van Persie’s sale or if possible add some more cash as well. This might be the most exciting scenario for the fans but perhaps the most unlikely one when it comes to Arsenal. Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani by far the hottest prospects who will not be participating in the champions league next season. Somewhat around 35-40 million required to sign but will Arsenal be looking to spend that high, maybe not.
Spanish duo Soldado and Llorente had great campaigns last year but need a bigger stage to make a strong case of selection and starting for national side. Cost around 25-30 million and are more than capable of providing the firepower needed after van Persie’s departure. Talking about Wenger’s idea of signing young players, then Robert Lewandowski and Stevean Jovetic – 23 and 22 respectively are talented youngsters who will surely excite the fans.
Arsenal must learn from Liverpool and should not even think about going for the first scenario. Everyone could see that reds needed a goal scorer having poor conversion rate and Suarez suspended but Dalglish handed the responsibility to misfiring Carroll and it backfired. Arsenal must sell van Persie at the earliest to analyze the best possible strikers and sign his replacement. Whether or not they will spend heavily, only time will tell.