Arsenal Transfer News: Why It's Too Late for Robin van Persie to Change His Mind
A Daily Mail exclusive today claims that Arsenal officials are confident they can yet persuade their want-away striker Robin van Persie to perform a Wayne Rooney-esque U-turn and decide to stay at the club.
Coming off the back of a season in which the Dutchman scored a blistering 37 goals in all competitions, earlier this month he announced that he would not be signing a new contract with the Gunners, issuing a damning and controversial statement to confirm what many had feared for months.
As for the statement itself, much of its criticism is deserved.
Van Persie's words were self-serving and narcissistic.
"I personally have had a great season..."
"...I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch."
His insults were veiled behind affected exaltations for the club that has only shown him loyalty, not that he felt it necessary to reciprocate.
"I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens."
Whilst he publicly called into question the man who has overseen his development and who made him club captain less than a year ago.
"Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger..."
Would you welcome van Persie back if he were to suddenly change his mind?
"...it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward."
One can presume that the signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud were not satisfactory for van Persie.
But the main motivation in issuing such a statement would surely be to accelerate his impending departure, despite burning his bridges in the process.
If the Daily Mail's report is to be believed (and why shouldn't it, for as long as the Dutchman remains an Arsenal player, the club's top brass would surely try and hold on to their biggest asset), would the fans welcome him back with open arms?
Has the damage been done? Is the player's talent worth absolvement?
For those who would answer "yes" to the above questions, reason would be given in the shape of that magical number, 37.
Thirty-seven goals in all competitions and the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards to boot.
But goals and accolades do not render a footballer bigger than a club, especially one with the history and prestige of Arsenal Football Club.
For in this case, there would be weakness in forgiveness.
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