Robin Van Persie Should See Red Upon His Exit from Arsenal

Stephen FennellCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2012

Old Trafford could be the scene of celebrations for van Persie next year.
Old Trafford could be the scene of celebrations for van Persie next year.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

When Lukas Podolski completed his transfer for an undisclosed fee from Cologne to Arsenal in April of this year, he attributed it to a desire to feature in European competitions. From The Telegraph:

The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a top European club.

If the recent happenings at Arsenal are to be used as a guide, then Robin van Persie is leaving due to the realisation that the Gunners may not be featuring in any of those European competitions in the near future.

Last season, Van Persie scored either the winner or the majority of goals in nine Premier League games for Arsenal. For those games alone, he was worth 27 points to the North London side.

Factor in the other games where he scored the same amount as his team-mates and his Premier League total of 30 goals catapulted Arsenal to third place and an automatic Champions League place.

If he hadn't carried the weight for an increasingly depleting Arsenal side, it stands to say that the only European action Podolski would be viewing is on a large screen at The Emirates on Champions League nights.

Take a bow Robin Van Persie. At least if he's booed upon his return he will be able to stand on his heroics of 2011/12.

Arsenal aside, Van Persie has some soul-searching to do and has two pertinent questions to answer:

Do I want to join Manchester City for the money or Manchester United for the prestige (and a fair chunk of money too)?

Players in the past have made decisions to rebuke Alex Ferguson's less than subtle advances and jump ship to other clubs. Two of these are most notably Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer.

''Gazza'' as the Dunston native is affectionately known in his homeland, opted for the glamour of London in 1988 and the serenity of the now infamous dentist chair

Look through Gazza's footballing CV and there's one winners medal worth mentioning: the 1991 FA Cup.

Ferguson's CV is a little more glittering.

The second of the two men in question, also a former Newcastle United star, was an outright goal machine and the player every manager dreams of.

Shearer was forceful, pacey, strong in the air and had a shot that was harder than a Danny Garcia left hook.

In 1996, with Ferguson falling over himself to sign Shearer, he opted for a switch back to his beloved Newcastle, which resulted in two FA Cup losers medals; one of which came against Manchester United.

There aren't many players who opted for a club other than United and went on to enjoy the success they dreamed of. 

Sir Alex Ferguson is showing no signs of letting up at United and spoke recently about the Premier League being his main aim this year. From The Guardian:

After the disappointment of last year we want to recover the title. We either win the title or come second, it's an important part of the history of our club over the last 20 years. We have to recover, as we've done many times. That's our target this year. Priority number one is to win the title back. When Arsenal won the title from us in 1998 we won the treble the next year. Then Chelsea came along and got off to a flyer in the league for the first two years [in 2005 and 2006], so we changed our pre-season a little to make sure we got off to quick starts. Recovery is so important and the same applies this season.

With domestic success comes the opportunity for European medals and Van Persie will know this. The addition of Shinji Kagawa is a statement that Ferguson is addressing the creative edge of the squad.

Wayne Rooney scored 27 league goals last season and would be the perfect complementary player to the Dutchman, playing just behind the main striker.

Dimitar Berbatov looks set to leave and Michael Owen has been released. There is speculation that Nani will be on his way soon and Ferguson is overhauling in a way that should excite van Persie.

There is always the problem that the blue side of Manchester will wave a blank cheque book in front of the Dutchman and that will sway him.

From what we've seen of Van Persie up to this point, he's been quite altruistic during his time at Arsenal and the right move seems more important to him than the most profitable one.

In this case, the right move would be to Old Trafford where the team will be built around him and Rooney rather than battling for a place with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Ferguson nearly always gets his man, and if he can step up his pursuit to land the former Feyenoord striker, the balance of power in England will have shifted firmly in favour of United.