Robin Van Persie: 10 Things That Could Happen for Arsenal If He Stays
The Robin van Persie saga has been one of the transfer stories of this summer's transfer window.
It all started out with his refusal to extend his contract with Arsenal. This was nothing but good news to the ears of other clubs looking to sign the forward, who just had a fantastic season.
At this point in time however, Manchester City has seemingly pulled out of the chase to sign the prolific scorer (per the Daily Mail). It was also reported in the Metro that Italian Giants, Juventus, would be ending their pursuit of van Persie.
So that just leaves Manchester United still be trying to sign van Persie.
So with this, there is still a strong possibility that the striker could stay with Arsenal next season. It is uncertain whether he will extend his contract this summer, but if the coming season goes well, then there is a chance that van Persie could end up staying on a long-term basis.
If van Persie were to stay, then next season could definitely go well; along with the new signings Arsenal has made so far with Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla, van Persie's presence in the attack would only benefit the team.
With that in mind, here are 10 things that could happen for the Gunners if the Dutch Striker stays at the Emirates for the 2012-2013 season.
The Team's Overall Confidence Would Increase
In the transfer window of the 2011 summer, the Gunners lost a few players, of which one was their former captain, Cesc Fábregas. With the departure of the Spaniard, Robin van Persie was given the captain's armband to lead the Gunners in the 2011-2012 season.
Having lost some influential players, the season looked rather bleak. However, this did not stop the Gunners from ending their season well with a third-place finish. Their captain managed to lead their team, setting an example for good performances every match. He managed to put the team over his shoulder, and as a result of his great teammates, he became the Gunners' best player.
After such a season, the confidence must have rubbed off onto his teammates. But, if van Persie just leaves, that confidence might dampen just the way it did when Fábregas left.
Signing Cazorla, Podolski, and Giroud would already increase the team's confidence, but having the captain stay after a hectic summer would augment confidence even more.
Other Arsenal Players Would Also Be Motivated Not to Leave
Robin van Persie hasn't been the only Arsenal man who could leave during this summer transfer window. Theo Walcott has also been linked with a potential move away from the Emirates (per The Guardian). At this point in time however, it is likely that he will stay at Arsenal.
Then, Alex Song has been linked with Spanish Giants, Barcelona. It was reported in The Sun that Barcelona was interested in Arsenal's midfielder.
If the Gunners' captain were to stay with Arsenal, it is possible that the other players, who were potentially on their way out, could decide to stay at Arsenal.
At the moment nothing has been finalized with Alex Song, but he would probably be more likely to stay if van Persie confirmed that he would be staying with Arsenal for at least one more season.
Injuries Wouldn't Cause as Many Problems as in the Past
Injuries have been one of the reasons Arsenal hasn't been as successful as they could have been.
Arsenal have faced long injuries many times before, with injury-prone players such as Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen. In the 2010-2011 season, van Persie suffered an injury early on that left him unable to play until close to the halfway mark in the season.
Last season, Arsenal faced some defensive injuries with Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Andre Santos and Johan Djourou.
Had all of these injuries not occurred, the Gunners would have been in much brighter situations than they had to face with their injuries.
Along with three attacking additions, attacking injuries won't be too big of a problem. However, Arsenal will need to sign some extra defensive players to give the team a cushion if they lose one of their best defenders due to an injury.
The Gunners Could Experiment with Various Attacking Options
Arsenal have had a very productive transfer window in terms of offensive additions. All three signings Arsenal have made so far have a good amount of experience and can fit in with Arsenal's formations and style of play just fine.
Lukas Podolski can play in a position that is somewhere near the left flank, or even in a central position. In Arsenal's preseason match against Cologne, Podolski had a great debut in which he scored two good goals, one of which was a penalty.
He managed to be efficient on the left side and in the center, so this would allow Arsène Wenger to use him as a part of some different lineups.
Olivier Giroud is a pure striker. He is a tall, aerial threat and can finish with class. He is a player who could give van Persie a break in terms of scoring. He was the top scorer in the French league in Montpellier's winning run, so he can certainly be a great presence on the pitch with Arsenal, whether it means playing as a lone striker or along with Robin van Persie.
Santi Cazorla is a very versatile midfielder. He can play in a central role where he can dictate the play or he can even play wide on the flanks where he can use his dribbling skills to create great chances.
He was one of the influential players in the preseason match against Cologne.
So in conclusion, Arsenal have the tools to tweak their lineup enough to produce the perfect team.
Olivier Giroud Might Not Play as Much as He Would Like
With the surplus of offensive players and the possibility of Robin van Persie staying at Arsenal, it is uncertain how much Olivier Giroud will play next season.
If the Dutchman remains at Arsenal it is unlikely that, if there will be only one striker in the lineup, anyone would be ahead of van Persie in the list.
Giroud would definitely play matches in which Arsenal decides to use a squad with two strikers, but if the Dutchman stays, nothing can be sure regarding how Arsenal's attackers will be used.
Arsenal Could Progress Further into the Champions League Than in Recent Years
Arsenal has managed to do something incredible under the reign of Arsène Wenger, and that is to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League every year with Wenger as the manager.
The club had never reached the Champions League final before 2006. In that year, the Gunners lost 2-1 to Barcelona.
In the 2006-2007 Champions League, Arsenal lost to PSV in the first round of the knockout stages. The following year, Arsenal managed to make it to the quarterfinals but lost to Liverpool in that round.
Then in 2008-2009 Arsenal managed to make it to the semis, where they lost to Manchester United. In 2009-2010, Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals. In the next season Arsenal faced Barcelona again in the first round of the knockout stages, where Arsenal fell short of progression to the quarters.
The next Champions League, Arsenal lost in the first round of the knockout stages to Milan.
Arsenal has fallen short in the first round of the knockout stages the last two seasons. However, with the new quality signings Arsenal has made, their attack is well suited for the Champions League. Once the Gunners have added some defensive reinforcements, they can do even better.
But, with Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla and van Persie—if he stays—then Arsenal is likely to go to the quarterfinals or maybe even the semifinals.
Arsenal Could Have More Fantastic Matches (e.g. Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham)
Despite the Gunners' horrendous start to their 2011-2012 season, they still managed to have some spectacular matches.
Their first inspiring win was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In defensive chaos, Arsenal managed to beat Chelsea in a 5-3 thriller.
Then they had a 7-1 victory against Blackburn in which Arsenal just thrashed the opposition.
The next great win was against their rivals, Tottenham. It was a memorable fixture at the Emirates which Arsenal won after coming back from a 0-2 deficit. They finished the match 5-2.
They also had a great 1-0 victory against Manchester City in which Mikel Arteta was the hero, scoring a very late goal in the 87th minute to seal the victory.
With the offensive firepower that Arsenal has added to the team, along with van Persie, who might stay, expect the Gunners to have even more amazing matches next season.
Arsenal Could Become Genuine Title Contenders
With Arsenal likely to have great matches next season, that would make Arsenal title contenders.
At the moment, Arsenal has a great offensive side. Their midfielders and forwards are great. Their defense is the only part of the Gunners' play that really needs improvement.
But, with Robin van Persie and the new offensive additions, Arsenal have already brought themselves a few steps closer to winning the Premier League.
The Gunners Could End Their Trophy Drought
So with becoming title contenders, the Gunners could possibly end their trophy drought as well. May it be winning the Carling Cup, FA Cup or the Premier League, a trophy is needed.
Once Arsenal have won even one trophy, it could bring the Gunners back on track to winning many titles and cups.
After Good Team Performances, Van Persie Might Even Extend His Contract
In conclusion, if Arsenal manages to have a good season in which Arsenal win a title or are in a good position to win a title, it is possible that Robin van Persie might even extend his contract.
When it was reported that van Persie decided not to extend his contract with Arsenal (via Sky Sports), it was revealed that the Dutchman did not agree with the way Arsenal was looking to move forward.
However, with the three signings the Gunners have made, this could be hinting that Arsenal are heading the right way. So if these additions prove to be worth it next season and Arsenal can win a trophy as well, then it would give van Persie no reason not to extend his contract with the Gunners.
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