There is an old saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Clearly he was interested in staying, as he sat down with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazides to discuss the future of the club and his part in it.
Sadly for the fans and the club, and very predictably, he received the same obtuseness and narrow minded comments from these two executives that we have come to expect from them, which resulted in his official statement that he does not intend to renew his contract after next year.
And what a catastrophe that statement is, because it is telling the bosses that they have got it wrong.
Maybe they ought to be listening to their players more. And when the player asking the questions is a man of Van Persie’s stature, they should be listening even harder.
Van Persie’s worth in the team both as a player and as a captain cannot be measured because his talent and leadership bolstered the team to third position and could bolster them even beyond that in coming seasons.
Not listening to his views is sheer folly. He speaks not only for himself but for his team mates that might in a short twelve month’s time be left without him.
Providing of course that the club doesn’t decide to sell him now, which would in some ways be an even bigger catastrophe. Or maybe not.
In my view, he has already parted with Arsenal in his mind: maybe for the sake of the club he should go sooner than later unless a huge u-turn in the thinking of the management takes place.
Which brings us back to the main problem. If he goes, the team is left with two new strikers who do not come from the Premier League, and who will need time to settle in and adjust.
In this league, however, there is no respite, therefore no real time to settle in at all. If Arsenal don’t win their opening games, they will fall behind and play catch up for the rest of the season.
This morning, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov has now also heavily criticised the Arsenal Board by accusing them of a lack of investment.
He is right. Arsenal cannot progress without their stars, and their policies, whilst making financial sense, do not bode well with the supporters nor, as we have seen, with other investors. Its time that things change in the boardroom, and that change must come now, whilst Van Persie is still a bird in the hand, not after.
Its time for the powers that be to rethink their strategy, and to keep the players that matter, and yes, if necessary, do a u-turn and admit their mistake, and then do whatever is necessary to keep Robin Van Persie at the club even if they have to break the wage barrier or bring in more players in order to do it.
To not act will in my view not be in the interests of the club, indeed it will be sheer folly.
image: © wonker