Robin Van Persie Playing a Dangerous Game with Arsenal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 03:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on March 3, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2012

Robin van Persie's wait-and-see tactics regarding his Arsenal future are part of a dangerous game the talented Dutch striker is playing with the Gunners. By adopting the view that he will wait for the club to impress him with new signings, van Persie is allowing Arsene Wenger ample time to prepare for life without his prolific skipper.

That's a risky move for the soon-to-be 29-year-old. The continuing rumours that Arsenal are about to swoop for Montpellier hitman Olivier Giroud should send a clear signal to van Persie that Wenger has a plan to cope with his potential departure.

That only strengthens Arsenal's negotiating stance with van Persie.

If Giroud is signed soon, he will join Lukas Podolski as the second capable international recruit to the Gunners' forward line.

This will mean Arsenal can justify adopting a take-it-or-leave-it approach regarding van Persie's new deal.

Reports in today's Daily Mirror suggest this is likely to be the case, with the UK newspaper suggesting Arsenal will accept a £30 million bid if van Persie doesn't sign a £130,000-a-week contract.

If he manages to secure Giroud's signature, Wenger will have succeeded in providing next season's attack with enough weapons to compensate for the loss of van Persie's phenomenal talents. Arsenal couldn't expect to replace van Persie with a single player.

However, the combined efforts of Giroud and Podolski may well be enough to keep the Gunners potent in front of goal. This is not to say that van Persie couldn't feature as part of an attacking trio in unison with Podolski and Giroud.

However, their acquisitions would let the Dutchman know that he is not indispensable in North London. His struggles in Euro 2012 have highlighted just how fortunate van Persie is to play for Arsenal.

Wenger has designed the team and its style to funnel the attack and play off the skill of the former Feyenoord prodigy. Van Persie is the unquestioned focal point of Arsenal's attack, but he may not enjoy that luxury at teams already loaded with a clutch of world class stars of equal reputation.

Most of the focus during the saga of van Persie's future at the Emirates Stadium has been on how much Arsenal need him. Ultimately, though, it could end up being a case of van Persie needing Arsenal more.

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