Saturday, 21 July 2012

Wenger won't strip RVP of captaincy -Lolo signs -Seven senior players grounded

Morning Gooners.

It must feel like déjà vu for our Asia fans. Last summer Cesc Fabregas was left to work on his fitness at London Colney. Twelve months on, Robin van P€r$i€ is being left to do the same. Of course the decision the manager has made has nothing to do with the statement our captain put out on July 4th and the fact he's said he won't sign a new deal at the club.

I feel a lot of sympathy for our fans in Asia. This is the the second summer they've welcomed an Arsenal squad to their homelands in as many years and the second time the captain of the football club has not travelled with his team mates.

But with offers coming in, Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis have made the right choice in deciding to leave van P€r$i€ in London. Of course, they knew this decision would have to be made after the van P€r$i€ statement was released and Wenger had the final say as whether the Dutchman would fly.

Manchester United, City and Juventus have all had their bids rejected because they came no where near reaching the valuation the Arsenal management have put on the 28-year-old striker's head. Will that valuation be met before the first team squad return from the Far East? I very much doubt it. This one is going to run and run until the end of the window. Robin may end up staying because no one will match what Arsenal want for him, but I very much doubt that will happen.

After Ferguson declared his club's interest in signing van P€r$i€, all the other interested clubs know they've got a fight on their hands for the Premier League's top goal scorer last season.

What Wenger won't do is strip van P€r$i€ of the captaincy. That will just weaken Arsenal's bargaining position and if no one meets Arsenal's valuation for him, he'll have to stay at the club.

I don't expect him to be captain next season even if he does stay. Thomas Vermaelen, as last season's vice-captain, has already inherited the role in my view and will lead the side in Asia.

As well as excluding RVP from the touring party, Wenger will leave at home the four players who will be visiting Nigeria: Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and new signing Lukas Podolski. Nicklas Bendtner will also be left in London according to The Guardian. Add Jack Wilshere to that list and that's seven senior players who have been left at home.

Meanwhile there is some good news with reports suggesting that Laurent Koscielny is to sign a new five year deal with the club.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail report Besiktas want to take Marouane Chamakh on loan with a view to a permanent £4million deal.

So with the tour party leaving later today, I would expect to see confirmation of those traveling on the official site at some point before they take off. It's certainly going to be interesting to see who is in and who's been left out.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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