Now anyone whose interested in sports probably knows about the transfer of Robin Van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United. It was announced that he had signed a 4 year contract with Manchester United this morning. In theory this is a very good deal for both clubs, Manchester United get a world class striker for a reasonable fee who should be able to form a deadly partnership with Wayne Rooney next season. Arsenal get about £24m for an injury prone 29 year old who has only actually had one impressive season at the club, who has one year left on his contract and would be available on a free next summer.
There is no doubt in the minds of most Arsenal fans (myself included) that this is a betrayal of the worst kind. There is is a joke going round that Robin Van Persie failed the medical as his back is damaged from having to carry an entire team last season, however most Arsenal fans point out that they carried Robin Van Persie for 7 seasons where as he carried Arsenal for just 1. Out of his 8 seasons with the club Robin Van Persie was injured for 6 of them and never scored more than 20 goals a season as a result. But through all his numerous problems Arséne Wenger, the club and the fans loyally stuck with him. Arsenal have clearly shown their loyalty to Robin Van Persie, and he has clearly shown that he has none to them.
Arsenal haven’t sold a player to Manchester United in over 20 years, which shows that clearly this isn’t something the club wanted to do, they will be aware that they’re strengthening the squad of one of their rivals whilst weakening their own. Although having said that in the past they never seem to have hesitated in selling players to Manchester City. Furthermore this is just another sale of a key player, it happens every summer. In 2006 Arsenal sold the midfield pair Patrick Viera and Robert Pires. In 2007 Thierry Henry and Ashley Cole left the club, the next season, it was Fredrik Ljungberg, Alex Hleb, Gilberto Silva and Flamini that went the season after that (2008), then it was Adebayor (2009). Two seasons later Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were leaving the club (2011) and now Robin Van Persie joins the list (2012). There’s no doubt Arsenal have become a selling club but they should avoid selling to their rivals at all costs.
Robin Van Persie probably has better chances of silverware at Manchester United, but only just. Neither team won anything last season and he’s traded 3rd place for 2nd. If he wanted titles he should have gone to Juventus, PSG, Manchester City or Barcelona/Real Madrid. This move was clearly motivated by money regardless of what is said. And he has betrayed Arsenal fans after years of loyalty to him. He’s unlikely to score as many goals as at Arsenal because he’ll be in a partnership with a lot of competition around him, at Arsenal he was the main striker with the team built around him so no wonder he scored so many. At Arsenal he may have been able to become a legend, that’s something he’ll never achieve in a few seasons at Manchester United. This is a career move, but not a necessary one. It’s a betrayal.