Robin Van Persie scored his 100th Arsenal goal over the weekend when he slotted home a brace against Bolton Wanderers. The Dutch forward has looked in excellent form since returning from injury last season and is the last remaining hope for the Gunners this season.
The latest news has him refusing to discuss a new contract or an extension to his current one that still has three seasons to go. Issues have now risen to the point that his refusal to come to the table over a new contract is showing his reluctance to see a long-term future at the Emirates.
In all honesty can you truly blame him for his growing lack of faith? He was a member of the club the last time they lifted their last piece of silverware, the 2005 FA Cup, but has since suffered frustration after frustration as the Gunners have failed to add to the trophy cabinet.
They had a chance to do so last season when they reached the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City, only to fall at the hands to the side that would become the first club ever to win a League Cup and end the season relegated.
That result certainly must have had a huge impact on the decisions of both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, especially with both having left the club in the summer transfer window. Van Persie took over the captaincy from Fabregas, but the complete dismantling of the midfield support system he had could be weighing heavily on his mind.
Despite the arrival of Mikel Arteta and the growing ability of Aaron Ramsey, Van Persie is most likely taking a hard look at the future of his career at Arsenal. The days of Arsenal as a powerhouse in many ways look to be over.
The era of the Invincibles seem a far distant memory, as Arsenal’s Premier League winning season in 2003-04 was most likely one of the Dutchman’s many reasons to be hopeful of continued trophy success in London.
But that has never been the case, and the more the Gunners look to becoming a feeder club set on buying young and selling early, the less likely it is that RVP will see another chance to claim an EPL trophy in his time.
The only choice Wenger has if he wants to keep a hold of his best player will be to build around him for the next few seasons. Former Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp stated to all the apparent truth that the Gunners must keep hold of Van Persie if they have a prayer of reclaiming any glory at this point.
For the time being all the Arsenal fans can do is hope and pray that Van Persie’s comments quoted in the Sun saying he is happy are correct:
“I still have almost two years left here, so for the moment that’s fine. But I don’t know, we will have to look.
“I’m happy with my contract, I’m good. That’s how it is, I can’t say much more. I can’t look into the future.”
“Maybe I’ll leave it because the main thing for me is the team and that we play well.
“I do believe you have to look for a right moment to sit down and speak about your own stuff.
“It’s not only about me, it’s about the team. We are not talking now because we are so busy — we have games every three or four days. I don’t think it’s clever to do that during the season.”
Arsene Wenger’s comments do little to end the worry of an Arsenal fan:
“If you’re in Robin’s place and you see Nasri going and Fabregas going, then you can be worried.
“We lost Fabregas not because of a financial reason but because of an understandable reason even if it hurts us a lot.
“But Robin is not from Barcelona.”
That being said, if they lost Fabregas due to something non-financial related, which I cannot believe is just because he was from Barcelona, it is because the promise to him of silverware was never fulfilled. The long drought now looks to be causing Van Persie the same doubts that led Fabregas back home to Barcelona.
Van Persie is definitely not from Barcelona but he most certainly is of the caliber to make a move to a bigger club that has true aspirations and quality to achieve it.
Whatever the case, the debate over Robin Van Persie’s future looks to have only just begun.