ARSENAL are facing yet another summer battle to retain their star players but one thing is clear: if Robin van Persie wants to leave then they have little choice but to let him go, and let him go where he wants.
If the club cannot meet the Dutchman’s financial demands or satisfy his ambition then they have to decide to sell. There is little point in keeping a player who is so pivotal to the team if they do not want to stay there.
Arsenal, I’m sure, would rather he moved abroad, but he holds the cards. If they try to usher him to AC Milan or Juventus then he can just sit tight, wait for them to relent and eventually join Manchester City or Manchester United.
Theo Walcott is also agitating with just one year left on his contract. I’m surprised it’s got to this but I think he should stay. He still needs to fulfil his promise and is more likely to progress under Arsene Wenger than any other manager.
Beyond splashing the cash it’s hard to see how Arsenal avoid this recurring scenario. Their salaries are limited and, when it’s hard to imagine them spending £20m-plus on a signing, players might justifiably feel their ambition is too.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups and the 1988 and 1992 European Championships. He now works as a talent scout and media commentator.