Why Zlatan is wrong about van Persie
By: Taylor Jacobs
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Robin van Persie may want to leave Arsenal in order to win more trophies, however, in doing so, is implying that club loyalty is dead. Van Persie has been tipped to leave the club at the end of the season in search of more silverware - the Netherlands international has only the 2005 FA Cup to show for his eight years in north London. By contrast, Ibrahimovic has won eight consecutive league titles in the last eight seasons, and he believes Van Persie should quit Arsenal in search of similar success. Earlier in the year, Cesc Fabregas decided to jump ship and head for greener pastures in Spain. Samir Nasri and Gaël Clichy also left to join affluent Manchester City. Even Arsenal legend Thierry Henry eventually left the club he loved so much in order to find more success.
So is Zlatan right in urging RVP to quit Arsenal? Is loyalty in football dead? In this case, no. Now more than ever, RVP needs to stay with the club and be the leader that is so desperately needed to bring the club back to Championship form. But he can’t do it alone. Right now, the midfield is a mess and has no leadership. The back-line looks shaky at best with the unit struggling to keep fitness. It goes without saying that Arsenal does have talent and a productive young system to keep new and up coming talent cycling in. The team has talent, but lacks the final few pieces to make them a perennial threat. Young players like Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have the pace and skill to be extremely threatening. Wojciech Szczęsny is a fantastic young keeper, that with the right back line, could really grow to become a great keeper.
So where would RVP go Zlatan? Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been linked with the prolific striker. Man City seems unrealistic at this point. Until they are able to offload Tevez and his massive contract and/or get Balotelli to grow up, the team will not be looking to spend an exorbitant amount of money on another striker. Barcelona is where strikers go to become second fiddle. With the likes of Messi, Xavi, Villa and Iniesta, the team looks good enough and deep enough to not sign the striker. Real Madrid has the money to purchase RVP and the need for a prolific striker up top, however, I don’t see RVP fitting into Real Madrid’s plans for the future. Gonzalo Higuain has been playing well for Los Blancos but Karim Benzema has left more to be desired. Even though all the pieces are in place for Madrid to take a run at RVP, I think van Persie has more in mind than just winning. He has a family and kids that he also needs to think about. His children are still young and moving them from a country where they grew up could be harmful. The lifestyles of Spain and England are different and the transition between the two could be a dangerous move for the van Persie family.
At the end of the day, RVP will do what he deems best for himself and his family. Whether its in North London or Madrid or somewhere else, when the striker is healthy, he ranks among the best in the world. Just because Zlatan has bounced around from Ajax, to Milan, to Barca and back and found success doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. RVP contribution to his club has been enormous this season and it would be criminal to leave before seeing what he can accomplish in the coming years of his captaincy.