Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell understands how Gunners captain Robin van Persie has lost patience with the club.
Campbell, who was a key part of Arsenal’s ’Invincibles’ side in 2003/04, believes the Dutchman, who has announced he will not sign a new deal at the Emirates, has become disillusioned with the club’s lack of competitiveness for top trophies.
Van Persie’s current deal expires at the end of the season and the striker looks certain to leave this summer – a position Campbell can appreciate.
“I can understand why Van Persie has decided not to sign a new contract,” the former England defender told the Daily Mirror.
“When you go back to your club for pre-season, and you look around the changing room, you want to see top players around you and think, ’Yeah, we’re going to do something this season. This is where it’s happening’.
“That’s what van Persie is looking for. And maybe he’s had a look and thought, ’Is this it?’
“Robin has seen the good times, and been part of the good times, and he wants more of it. Basically, his statement is shorthand for saying his patience has run out, and that he can’t wait for ever if he’s going to win major trophies in his career.
“From the outside, it looks as though he wants to go to a club who will start the season expecting to win things, not just to be in contention with a lot of ifs, buts, maybes and strings attached.”
Campbell believes reconciliation is not impossible, but thinks Arsenal would have to make some serious statements in the transfer market.
“Maybe he could still sign a new contract if Arsenal rustle up £100m from somewhere and make a serious statement by signing three world-class players,” he said.
“But they lost Fabregas and Nasri last summer, so we’ve been here before and I don’t see how it’s going to be any different this time.
“Arsenal have established this model of financial prudence, they have a fantastic new stadium, they are bringing the club’s debt down ahead of schedule and everything is tickety-boo off the pitch.
“They are making money, they are in good shape and everything is well-run... but they are not winning. The real sting is in the punchline."