With Robin van Persie’s transfer finally completed, we finally see this long drawn out but unusually calm transfer saga draw to a close. And not surprisingly, lots of United fans are excited at the prospect of van Persie signing with us, as they rightfully should be. Any time a player who has scored 30 league goals in a season is about to sign with your club, delight and joy are the emotions that one should be feeling. But I along with a few others (Ducky included) don’t seem to share the enthusiasm of our peers. For me, it might be my eternal skepticism (a talent that makes me look at the worst case scenario in everything) but maybe my reservations on this issue are, for once, justified.
What are these reservations, you ask?
Well, for one we’ll be paying around 24 million for a 29-year-old striker on a wage of 220,000 per week. The same striker who has spent more time warming the treatment table than Michael Owen has on the bench. Yes, last season he scored 30 goals and the season before that 18, and there’s no doubting his ability to score goals; but from what I see his goal scoring coincides with the time when he was the main striker in the team. This is exactly what Berbatov was to Spurs, but at United he was always playing second fiddle to Rooney, and we all know how that story ended. I know it’s a stretch to claim that this will happen with van Persie too but it’s an undeniable possibility.
Another thing that bothers me if we sign him will be the lack of game time that Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez will get; and it puts Shinji Kagawa’s role in the team in doubt. I can’t see Kagawa, Rooney and Van Persie starting together unless Kagawa is made to play out of position as a central midfielder or a winger.
Lets face it, this whole transfer comes with a huge chance of ending up a flop and it may be even possible that around this time next year I will be writing an article trying to find scraps of optimism at the end of what could have been a disastrous season for RvP. While I’m not denying the fact that it could turn out to be a very successful transfer and give us the extra push to win the league and maybe even the champions league, the cons for me far outweigh the positives. But it looks like Sir Alex believes otherwise and that it’s a risk worth taking. Challenging Sir Alex’s choices has blown up in my face almost every time, and I wouldn’t mind that happening again; but if by a rare chance my predictions do come true it could derail our season.
Another thing I wanted to mention is all the fuss that Arsenal fans are creating over Robin van Persie’s transfer to us; after all we also sold a United legend to you folks a few seasons back! You didn’t see us cuss and swear at him, wish that he’d get injured forever (a little too far?) and so on? In fact we hoped and prayed that he’d play every game for Arsenal and remain on the pitch as much as possible. *snicker*
Going back to the serious stuff though, as a football fan in general I think more than RvP, Wenger is to blame for this entire situation. Before you start calling a mob to lynch me, the reason why I think this whole situation arose thanks to monsieur Wenger was when he let both Nasri and Fabregas go without bringing in a decent replacement for them last season itself. I don’t believe Arteta alone was sufficient to fill the gap and Wilshere’s injury was just a kick in the balls; Wenger had no real backup plan and in the end if it weren’t for Song and Van Persie stepping up to the plate, we might have seen Arsenal finish somewhere near Liverpool. <end mandatory Liverpool dig>
While Wenger has bought well in the past, but for every Nasri, Vermaelen, Arteta and Sagna he has also brought in a Chamakh, Silvestre, Squillaci and Andre Santos. His transfers always seem to happen one season too late, but this season bringing in Podolski and Giroud was not done to help support Van Persie but rather replace him. Wenger’s not making the same mistake that he did with Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor and Clichy. Wenger knew Van Persie was going this summer but he just didn’t expect that Manchester United would be the destination. The only thing that makes this whole situation all so sour for the club and fans.
For wholly different reasons, I might actually agree with the Arsenal fans on this one. Sure, it looks a killer front line for United now, and maybe there exists a system where RvP, Rooney and Kagawa can all play. But somehow, just somehow, it feels like RvP should have just stayed on at Arsenal…