Sky Sports has now officially confirmed Robin van Persie's sale from Arsenal to Manchester United.

The Dutchman's four-year, £24 million deal, is a sad reflection on the player and the two clubs who have dealt for his services.

For Arsenal, selling a player to Manchester United for the first time in Arsene Wenger's tenure, symbolises their diminished status. For years, Wenger managed to keep stars such as Patrick Vieira out of the clutches of Sir Alex Ferguson. Yet that was when Arsenal were regularly collecting silverware.

That Wenger has let a star asset make his major, managerial rival stronger, shows how far Arsenal have fallen during seven trophyless years. It also demonstates how the Gunners are still restrained by financial implications.

Wenger has spoken of being "forced" into the sale, according to reports in the Daily Mirror newspaper. In a similar report from the Daily Mail, the Frenchman identified the fee gained as the only saving grace of the deal.

That clearly indicates Arsenal are still in a position where they feel they must put fiscal prudence before potential instant gains. Wenger spent arouind £30 million to secure the trio of Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.

Van Persie's fee ensures econominc harmony and respects the business model Arsenal have used since their move to the Emirates Stadium. Of course, many have viewed that same model as the chief hindrance to the club's ability to seriously compete for top prizes.

From a United perspective, the deal is the very definition of instant gratification. How else would you explain spening £24 million on a 29-year-old with just one year left on is contract?

That's a lavish and risky outlay for a club saddled with serious debt. It represents the polar oppositie to Arsenal's approach, showing United gambling on the success van Persie might bring now.

United have claimed an emphasis on youth and criticised the spending power of Manchester City. Signing van Persie hints at a disturbing hypocricy.

Any youth movement has been conveniently shelved at the first sign of trouble. In this case, the trouble is United failing to win a trophy last season.

It's enough to make United forget about committing to younsgters Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez as first-team regulars.

Then there is van Persie himself. Fresh from a summer of ruthlessly calculated brinksmanhip, the Dutchman has the deal he wants.

However, after callously engineering a move away, van Persie has ruined any legacy he had at Arsenal. The man who fired more than a century of goals for the Gunners, is unlikely to remembered fondly by the Arsenal faithful.

The abiding memory of van Persie will be as the man who publically tied Arsenal's hands and left them with no choice but to strengthen one of their greatest rivals.

Join the Discussion