Arsenal Transfer News: What Losing Robin van Persie Means for Gunners
Arsene Wenger always wanted to keep Robin van Persie, but after the superstar striker declared he wasn't interested in staying at Arsenal, the writing was on the wall.
After Arsenal fans booed Van Persie in the club's preseason friendly against Cologne on Sunday, the time had come for the former fan favorite at the Emirates to move on.
The questions is, what does Arsenal do now?
It's never pleasant to lose an elite goal scorer like Van Persie, and it obviously poses a problem on offense. Not only did Van Persie score 30 goals last season (most in the Premier League), he also registered nine assists, which was second only to Alex Song. He accounted for 40 percent of Arsenal's goals (Theo Walcott was second at the club with eight).
There is also the prospect of Song leaving for Barcelona, as ESPN reports. That would be yet another big blow to the Gunners.
Having said that, there is some hope on the horizon.
Arsenal finished third in the league last season, first of all. It's not like the club was light-years behind United and Manchester City.
There's also the fact that Arsenal picked up some nice players this summer, including Germany's Lukas Podolski, France's Olivier Giroud and Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla.
Will Arsenal vie for the EPL title within two seasons?
None of those players are slouches. Podolski scored 18 goals in 28 starts for Cologne last season. Giroud scored 21 goals in 36 starts for Montpellier. Cazorla is known as a versatile, all-around player (although he's never appeared to reach his potential in terms of goal-scoring).
Wenger also noted on Wednesday that Arsenal has been recruiting to make up for the prospect of losing Van Persie this summer. There has been some level of preparation behind the scenes.
It's hard to call Arsenal a top-two team in the Premier League right now, and a league title next season seems a distant thought. However, there is the potential for Arsenal to rebuild quickly, starting with the £24 million the club will receive for Van Persie.
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