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Arsenal’s £2.75 million Success Story

Arsene Wenger is well known for finding young players rich in footballing ability, bursting with outstanding potential and carrying a very small price tag. It is one of the reasons why his career at Arsenal has been so successful. Recently however,…

Arsene Wenger is well known for finding young players rich in footballing ability, bursting with outstanding potential and carrying a very small price tag. It is one of the reasons why his career at Arsenal has been so successful. Recently however, he has been heavily criticized for that long-term transfer policy, but this week-end during a rare win in Arsenal’s very poor start to the Premier League season, one player showcased the sweet benefits of Wenger’s approach to transfers.

The Arsenal manager said after Robin van Persie’s double strike against Bolton on Saturday in which his second goal was his 100th for Arsenal, that it would be “difficult to imagine our team without him.” It is a sentiment which will no doubt be echoed by every Arsenal supporter, with the 28 year-old Dutchman not only being a massive presence in the squad as the new captain, but also a fan favourite with mutual respect between himself and the fans.

Indeed this marvellous relationship began seven years ago, when Wenger discovered a gifted young left winger with exceptional dribbling skills as well as a superb eye for goal plying his trade with the Dutch club Feyenoord. Arsenal already had a legendary striker from the Netherlands at the club in the form of Dennis Bergkamp, but at a very advanced stage in his career, Wenger wanted a replacement.

A wonderfully inexpensive bargain at £2.75 million, van Persie is now in his eighth season with Arsenal, and having been converted into a striker by Wenger, has reached the incredible 100 goal landmark, assisting an equally impressive 46 goals along the way. He becomes only the 17th player to ever reach the 100 goal mark in Arsenal’s history and the only current Gunner inside the top 20 goalscorers for the club.

It is a widely held belief that without his persistent and unfortunate injuries which he has been prone to, he would have far more goals to his name, and would be far higher up the list of top scorers, and closer to another of Wenger’s bargain buys, Thierry Henry, at the peak.

Van Persie’s personal achievements with Arsenal are slightly overshadowed by the fact that he has only won a single F.A Cup in 2004 and a Community Shield a year later. It is a disappointing and unfortunate record for a man who could have achieved so much more with another club, yet the fact he has stayed loyal to Arsenal for so long, is another reason why he is held in such high regard.

The latest transfer rumours link him with a move to Manchester City for a fee of £30 million, and while it seems incredibly unlikely that van Persie would jump ship now, that price tag emphasises his importance as a player, leader and world-class star.

Wenger is under a lot of pressure for his role in Arsenal’s nose-dive towards the bottom half of the table this season as well as the lack of trophies in the last six or so, but a success story such as van Persie’s has a lot to do with the French manager. It may be a long term policy, but has proved to have paid dividends, and is one of the main actions that Wenger will be remembered for when he has gone.

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  1. pistolpete

    September 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Good post and i hope you are right that RvP will stay at Arsenal.I think time for Arsenal to match the wages others are paying otherwise they will lose many more of their best players.


    September 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It is true that Wenger has achieved success in the direction of discovering young players and nurturing them to stardom. He will achieve more if he, at the same time buys quality mature players from time to time to keep the team balanced. Focusing on youth players alone is not the best approach.

  3. Bouldy

    September 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    It has not always worked out. Senderos, Bendtneer, Denilson, Vela, Djourou any one?

  4. Edub

    September 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Of course it hasn’t always worked but even sir Alex had failed with Oburtan, Djemba, Kleberson etc. Arsene knows

  5. Bendt

    September 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    To find a talent and create him to a world class player is not easy but we buys as many talented players so we can expect some of them will rise as a big players like Fab, Thierry, RVP but unfortunately some others didn’t succeed. We lose big players but I really hope we keep RVP rest off his carrier.

  6. Domhuaille

    September 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    It has indeed been a stressful start to the new season but there are many bright lights to cheer us up and the brightest is certainly RVP. The gutter tabloid British press and bloggers are trying to take RVP’s happiness with his current contract and spin it into a Nasri-like soap opera in the vain hope that it can snag more readers and diss AFC, their two preferred objectives.
    AW’s youth policy has always been a two edged sword with the purchase of relatively unknown and experienced senior targets supplemented by his youth gems. Nasri,Reyes, Arshavin, Rosicky, Hleb,Flamini, Vermaelen, Sagna etc. were brought in to supplement Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Vela,Bendtner and so on. As someone else said, nobody gets it right all the time but with AOC, Ryo, Park, Per, Arteta, Benayoun and Santos coming in to supplement Frimpong, Jenkinson, Song, Djourou, Koscielny and Gibbs, he appears to have done it again!

  7. timao

    September 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    could have achieved more with another club? maybe also could have helped arsenal achieve more if not injured so frequently. arsene has always stuck with rvp through thick and thin tho even tho many people calling for him to be sold as a crock.

  8. GoonerEris

    September 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    RvP won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2005; not 2004. Charity shield win was in 2004.

  9. Mike

    September 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I think Arsenal are still 2 world class players away from hitting the big time again. The future buys are also critical to keeping the stars of today and tomorrow
    including RVP, Song, Wilshire, Ramsey, Walcott and others.

  10. Ideket

    September 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Van Persie has tried to put pressure on Wenger to bolster the squad in key areas in the past. Could he be trying to do that again now? Players who love the club (and there have been many in Arsenal’s history) ask the boss to bolster the squad. Others just ask for more money.

    • Madan

      September 27, 2011 at 1:40 am

      Well said my friend, In Arsene I trust! In RvP I believe, in Arsenal I devote!

  11. Goondog

    September 27, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I read this story early this morning and felt a little queasy but the more ive read the less worried i am about this for
    1 RVP will be 30 in 2013 and most big clubs will not want to give a 30 year old injury prone(also fantastic) player a 3 year contract.
    2 in the latest article i read it quotes
    “I do believe you have to look for a right moment to sit down. It’s not only about me, it’s about the team. I don’t want to speak about my own stuff while the others are a bit more important, especially now.”

    this seems more like the truth to me he will sign but he wants the club to tie the rest up and reinforce rather than sell again

    3 and believe me until this morning i didnt believe i could type this about my idol we can keep him till hes 30 on his contract now

  12. Eriss

    September 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    RVP ll stay, but that certainly ll be based on Wenga adding quality to the squard come Jan. It sure won’t be an issue based on financial gains. RVP loves arsenal and already becoming an arsenal legend. But he also wants to win something.

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