Robin Van Persie: Ranking RVP's Possible Landing Spots
The constant speculation over where he will go has been the dominant storyline in club football this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid are the teams who continue to show interest. But Goal.com’s Wayne Veysey claims that Arsenal will not be willing to sell their star striker.
Here are the five clubs, ranked in order of which side will be the best fit for Van Persie.
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Of all the teams rumored to be chasing Robin Van Persie, Juventus is the worst fit.
The team’s two favorite formations were a 4-3-3 and a 3-5-2. When using the former strategy, Mirko Vucinic and Simone Pepe were the team’s most used wide players. They played farther up the field than Arsenal’s wingers, and they are not of the same quality as some of the attacking partners Van Persie could play with at other clubs.
Van Persie, as his 30 English Premier League goals show, plays best when he operates as a lone striker. In both of the team’s favorite formations, he will be joined up top by another forward.
But the main reason Van Persie would be wise to avoid Juventus, and Serie A all together, is the recent match-fixing scandal which has broke this summer. According to La Gazzetta, Juve’s head coach Antonio Conte is under investigation for offenses during his time in Siena.
For a man with a wealth of options, surely Van Persie would be better off elsewhere.
4. Manchester United
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A combination of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie may not be as lethal as fans might initially suspect.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson favored a 4-4-2 for much of last season, but purchasing Shinji Kagawa may be a hint that he will opt to use a 4-3-3 formation in which the wide players are primarily responsible for serving crosses.
Few players are more adept at setting up their teammates from a wide position than Antonio Valencia, and United has other crafty players like Luis Nani and Ashley Young to play on the other side.
However, Van Persie’s inclusion in the lineup begs the question as to where Rooney fits. He could play in the center of the midfield, but that would freeze out Kagawa. He could also move to the wing, but that is certainly not the best use of his talents.
Ferguson could opt to stick to a 4-4-2 and play both Rooney and Van Persie alongside each other, but this would keep both RVP and Kagawa out of their preferred spots.
Getting all of United’s attacking players on the field would be a difficult task if Van Persie is in the mix, and it could create a contentious situation.
3. Real Madrid
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Heading to Real Madrid may put Robin Van Persie in a position where he plays out of position, or does not play at all, but he would also get a chance to receive passes from a few incredible wingers and midfielders.
Madrid often uses a formation similar to the one Arsenal employed, and Karim Benzema has occupied the same role as Van Perise did for the Gunners.
Benzema scored 21 goals last season and played extremely well. He is just 24 years old, while Van Persie is 28, and Van Persie would likely have to battle him for playing time.
However, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo were the most often used players behind Madrid’s center striker, and they combined for an incredible 44 assists in La Liga games. Add in Xabi Alonso’s passing skills and that number jumps to 53 assists from the starting midfield players.
A move to La Liga may not be ideal for Van Persie, as he would have to fight with a younger, similarly talented player to get on the pitch. However, he would have an opportunity to play in front of a handful of the most talented playmakers in the world.
2. Manchester City
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Manchester City does provide an ideal situation for Robin Van Persie.
Center forward Edin Dzeko fell out of favor last season, and neither Mario Balotelli nor Carlos Tevez can be viewed as a reliable option. Van Persie would fill a need for the team and would be able to occupy a role he is comfortable with.
Sergio Aguero played mostly in an attacking role behind the strikers last season, and he would be an ideal complement to Van Persie. In addition, David Silva is maestro on the wing and recording 15 assists in EPL matches last season.
RVP’s former teammate Samir Nasri, who finished with nine assists in league games, would provide quality service from the other side of the pitch.
The formation and the personnel that the Blues have in place would make Van Persie’s move to Manchester an easy transition.
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The way Robin Van Persie was used at Arsenal this past year was devastatingly effective, and the striker had the best season of his career.
He scored 30 league goals and recorded nine assists, and Arsenal put more balls in the net more than any other team except for the two Manchester clubs. This strategy is not broken, so Van Persie should not try and fix it.
While concerns continue to swirl around the Gunners’ inability to win a trophy, Arsene Wenger has never allowed the team to drop out of the top-four. He keeps the team constantly competitive, and this coming year will be no different.
Van Persie is best off staying at Arsenal and allowing Wenger to build talent around him. Added help in the midfield and defense could help the team become significantly more competitive.
The Dutchman would do well to return to a situation in which he knows he can be extremely successful, instead of risking a move to a team where he will not fit.