For the very first time, Arsène Wenger has agreed that Robin Van Persie could leave the Emirates at the end of his contract.
After the striker’s stunning performance and brace against Sunderland at the weekend, Wenger said, “Unfortunately the ideal situation does not exist often… The ideal situation is that he extends his length of contract but, if he does not, we have to respect that. What is important is that he plays like he plays.”
Despite being a world class player in such an under-performing team overall this season, Wenger is still mulling over what kind of new wage he should offer the Dutchman, unsure of whether the player will choose to stick around for long. Wenger continued, “For me commitment isn’t how long you’re at the club, it’s as long as you’re there you give 100 per cent until the last day of your contract”.
Indeed, commitment is the passion that one feels for the club itself and Van Persie has shown that so far this season, so should we really be offering him a better deal? Of course, we want him to stay but if we offer him a bumper new wage, the likes of Vermaelen, Szczęsny and Sagna will want the same. Surely the potential for a significant difference in wages cannot be a good factor to have in a squad? Other negatives include the subsequent loss of the wage cap and the financial aftermath of that – although not horrendous – would be disappointing. After all, is £80,000 a week not enough?
It would be brilliant to see Van Persie stay to the end of his contract without having to be won over with any financial proposals. If he leaves then, it would undoubtedly be a sad day for Gooners but the fact that he would have stayed for the club, the captaincy and pure commitment to win Arsenal trophies would make such a refreshing change. Still, it now seems likely that it has to be done.