The Gunners' star striker has had a turbulent offseason, to say the least. Transfer rumors have swirled around him over the last few months after he stated that he wouldn't sign an extension with Arsenal.
For a while, it looked as if he would be playing his 2012-13 club season with Manchester United. But according to The Mirror, he will be suiting up for Arsenal in an exhibition match today against Koln.
It seems as if his presence in the Gunners' lineup was key to being called up to his national club, as there have been questions about his fitness this offseason. His head coach for Netherlands, Louis van Gaal, had this to say about van Persie:
“Robin will play his first game this Sunday,” Gall said. “He has told me he is at least going to play 45 minutes this weekend."
“It is a good job, because I almost had not selected him.”
But even if he’s doing it begrudgingly, it’s a great thing that van Persie is finding his way onto the pitch for Arsenal. The Gunners needed his finishing prowess in order to find success.
Van Persie was the squad's leading scorer by a 22-goal margin over Theo Walcott last club season—a remarkably wide total. Take away his production and the Gunners would have had a difficult time even finishing in the top level last season.
This is why it's key to get him back on the field.
He may not want to stay with Arsenal, but for now, it's more important to have him with the team rather than worrying about where he'll go next offseason.
Manchester United may still be pushing for van Persie hard, but the Gunners need his considerable talent to stay at home. He's one of the most gifted goal scorers in the Premier League, and Arsenal needs every ounce of his talent.
So, when he hits the field today, Arsenal fans should rejoice. It won't be the end of Man U's pursuit of him, but it means it's time to get back to football—something that van Persie and the Gunners desperately need. Because there's no better way to get rid of some hard feelings than to net some goals and rack up wins.
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