Arsenal FC: Why Selling Robin Van Persie Would Be the Beginning of the End

Jake LittleContributor IIIDecember 2, 2011

Robin Van Persie has been instrumental in Arsenal's successes this season.
Robin Van Persie has been instrumental in Arsenal's successes this season.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

To overestimate the importance of Robin Van Persie to Arsenal would be similar to overestimating the importance of electricity to a light bulb. 

The Dutchman has been in terrific form for the Gunners this season. In fact, the entire Arsenal squad has failed to outscore the captain in the Premier League.

Since opening his account against Manchester United in August, Van Persie has gone on to score 13 league goals in 11 games.

He leads the Premier League in goals scored and has been the focal point of Arsenal's attack this season. 

After a summer that saw the departures of first-team players such as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, Robin Van Persie has stepped up and delivered for his club.

It could be argued that Van Persie joins Jack Wilshere as the only world-class player left at the Emirates.

Selling the Dutchman would be catastrophic for Arsenal, and there are a number of reasons why. First, let’s examine the immediate impact it would have on the Gunners.

The departure of Robin Van Persie would leave a gap, or rather, a chasm in the Arsenal attack. The skipper has netted 16 goals in all competitions, 14 more than his next closest teammate.

Marouane Chamakh would most likely be the man tipped to fill the Van Persie void.

In Chamakh, Arsene Wenger has found a striker that once showed promise, confidence and competence. However, since his move to the club, the Moroccan has been stripped of all three.  

Francis Coquelin deserves more chances in the Arsenal first team.
Francis Coquelin deserves more chances in the Arsenal first team.Julian Finney/Getty Images

Gervinho has shown promise, but does not yet appear to be the goal-scorer Arsenal fans expected. Theo Walcott is also not ready to lead the front line.

The departure of Robin Van Persie would arguably see Arsenal losing their last world-class player and that is something that the Gunners cannot afford.

Many would argue that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were world-class players, so why were their departures different?

The answer to that question can be found in the Arsenal academy and reserve teams.

The departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri left a large void in the Arsenal midfield. However, look at the players that have put in shifts to plug the gaps.

Emmanuel Frimpong is an Arsenal academy product that has shown promise when given the chance. The young Ghanaian has shown great strength, power and tackling ability.

Francis Coquelin is a player that should be getting more time in the first team, too.

The Frenchman put in a man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham earlier this season. Arsenal’s Carling Cup exit to Manchester City saw another great display from the midfielder.

If given more opportunities, Coquelin appears to have the ability to have a Jack Wilshere-like rise into the first team during the second half of the season.

The point here is that Arsenal’s midfield may have lost great players, but the club has youth-team talent that has the ability to plug the gaps left by the players who have departed.

Unfortunately, in the striking position, Arsenal are not afforded that luxury.

When short of talent in their reserve, clubs naturally look elsewhere to purchase players that they need. However, if Robin Van Persie leaves, this will also become difficult for the Gunners.

We’ve seen it with Manchester City, we’ve seen it with Real Madrid and we’ve even seen it in basketball with the Miami Heat. World class players like to play alongside world class players.

If Robin Van Persie leaves the club, it is going to become even more difficult for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners to draw top quality talent to North London.

To lose Robin Van Persie is not only to lose the club’s best player at the moment, but it is also to lose the club’s most promising hope for the future.

In other words, it is simply a loss that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal cannot yet afford.