It was one of the big shocking moves of the transfer window. Robin van Persie said goodbye to the Emirates and jumped into the hands of Sir Alex Ferguson.
It was a move that many believed would only make Arsenal an even weaker side. However, as we enter the last stages of this season, it has come apparent that the Gunners have managed to build together, without their Flying Dutchman.
He was Arsenal's top goal scorer last season, so it was clearly going to be an issue to continue being a top club, with yet another classy player leaving the squad.
We thought it was going to be a sale they will regret, and will pay a high price letting him leave for such a rival club. This season has actually proven the complete opposite. Whilst Manchester United have benefited from such a player, and whilst the move has seen Van Persie win his very first Premier League title, Arsenal have also gained a lot from this sale.
Little faith was put in new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski. They were known as the “Van Persie replacements” yet they became great assets to the club by playing their own way, and not following the footsteps of a lost player.
The players have built a system, where they can go on and score goals, without relying on one player. Santi Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud, and Theo Walcott are capable of picking out goals.
The Gunners are now team who look out for each other on the field. They don’t look up to smash the ball into that one player in the box. Each player now has a chance to create and score.
The replacements are now catching up with the goal tally Van Persie had for the Gunners last season. In the Dutchman’s final season with Arsenal, he managed to score 30 of Arsenal’s 70 league goals.
Podolski’s and Giroud’s tally for this season so far combined is 20 league goals. So whilst they haven’t managed to reach the amazing tally of last season set by the ex-gunner, they have certainly made the fans satisfied with what they have achieved in their first season at the Emirates.
Both Manchester United and Arsenal have gained from the Van Persie sale, and whilst he has made huge impact in games this season, it’s not to say the Gunners are still as good as they were when Van Persie was scoring for the Londoners.
There’s still a lot of work to be done at Arsenal, and they may still need that player with an eye for goal. Nevertheless, Arsenal may have lost that key striker, but they have continued to fight, and have had a similar season this year, as they did when Robin van Persie was at the club.
So what have the lost? A great player? Or have they gained a strong-minded team? If they spend this summer, we could start to see a very strong Arsenal side, and one that can challenge for silverware next season.
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