What would you do – if you were Arsenal striker Robin van Persie?
Stay? Go? Raise an ambiguous thumb in both directions?
Inspired by the 21st century Bohemian Rhapsody – the City High single with the above name – The Spoiler plans to sample the shoes worn by those certain to feature in the summer’s biggest and most boring transfer sagas over the next few weeks, having a dabble at career guidance counselling.
Robin van Persie, the first ever Premier League striker to be granted permission to score when he wants, albeit from his own club’s fans, seems an obvious place to start…
Man City (7/4)
Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri didn’t regret trading moral victories at Arsenal for actual triumphs at the Etihad, and Patrick Vieira appears so snug in his suited-up role with the champions that you almost forget he was ever a Gooner. This switch would instantly eradicate his Emirates hero status though, and judging by the fate that befell Emmanuel Adebayor and Nasri, the chant used to idolise him will swiftly be given a sweary hate-caked remix.
This looks increasingly unlikely due to rumours that Italy isn’t to van Persie’s tastes and the outbreak of another Serie A scandal, however it has its positives. In Turin, the he would be a guaranteed starter in a title-winning side with aspirations of returning to European prominence. Then again, the last time RVP joined a team who had recently achieved invincibility, it didn’t work the anticipated magic on his trophy cabinet.
Again not an ideal destination to retain the adoration of the Arsenal fans following their relentless Cesc-tapping campaign, but it would be a whole heap more accepted than joining Man City. Would it be a wise career move though? His silverware collection would likely grow, yet rather than being the main man, he would take turns with Alexis Sanchez, David Villa and Cesc Fabregas to tee up Messi. And with Pep Guardiola saying adios, sustained success is no certainty.
What would The Spoiler do?
Stay. A title challenge seems unlikely, but with Lukas Podolski acquired, they should be closer to the top two next term, and few of his alternatives offer both star-man status and a likely place in the Champions League knockout rounds. If he leaves next year, interest will remain – Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Di Natale proving you can still be a Champions League line-leader in your 30s. Might as well sign a new deal with a pay rise, as Arsenal usually relent when a player wants out, regardless of their contractual situation.