World class striker, Robin van Persie has begun a dangerous game of brinksmanship with Arsenal. It is a game the Gunners cannot afford to lose and Arsene Wenger must not fold first. By publicly declaring his intention not to agree a new deal, van Persie is attempting to back Arsenal into a corner. His statement has damaged the club's hopes of getting maximum value for a player potential suitors know intends to leave next summer.
Wenger has to break the pattern of star players forcing Arsenal into action with demands for increased wages and more extravagent signings. Making van Persie stay put for another 12 months, is the best way to achieve this.
It may seem like a risky strategy and not exactly the best business sense, to forego a potential sum of £15-20 million this summer. However, there are more benefits to keeping van Persie in the fold.
The Dutch talisman wouldn't be able to risk simply going through the motions during his last season in North London. If he did, van Persie would scupper the chances of earning the final lucrative contract he desires from a trophy-winning team.
Which of the game's elite clubs would pay in excess of £200,000 per week, to a player who will be nearing 30 and coming off a sub-par campaign? Van Persie would have no choice but to try and match the prolific levels he reached last season.
If he does not and his unhappiness with life at Arsenal begins to undermine the squad, Wenger can simply relegate him to a secondary role. This would further damage van Persie's hopes for a big move away.
Most importantly, by taking such a firm stance with van Persie, Wenger would send a clear message to any other wantaway stars. Key players like Alex Song, may not be keen to use that thinly veiled umbrella term, "ambition" to try and force their way out, if van Persie's attempts fail.
By keeping van Persie for another 12 months, Arsenal can still hold all the power in this standoff. It represents their best hope of ending the annual summer procession of disaffected stars away from the Emirates Stadium.710189