It has been speculated in newspapers, on websites (including this one) and in every pub across the country that Chelsea are still in the market for another striker. Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou have been released whilst the promising Romelu Lukaku looks set to leave on loan as RDM does not consider him ready for first team action just yet. This leaves us with the inconsistent Fernando Torres and the apparently out of favour Daniel Sturridge. Not many forwards for a team that is defending the Champions League so it is inevitable that we are being linked to so many in the tabloids. Names such as Falcao and Edinson Cavani were not surprising to read as it is well known that Roman is a long time admirer of both these players although I must say I was surprised to see us linked with Paraguayan hitman Oscar Cardozo. The big Benfica forward is technically brilliant but I just wonder if he’s quite at the level we’re looking for.
The striker I would like to see us sign, if we are indeed in the market for one would be none other than Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie. There are so many reasons as to why this transfer would make sense for our club. At 29 he is no spring chicken I admit and he doesn’t fit in with our recent youth policy in the market but he has big match experience as well as Premier League experience. He was unstoppable last year for Arsenal and just when we are signing the players to match their creativity surely he would be able to replicate his form at the Bridge? He is clinical in the box and due to his on-going contract saga is likely to be available for around £20 million. In comparison to the figures being quoted for the first two names I mentioned this is something of a bargain. He is also in top form. Bar a very disappointing Euros 2011/2012 was the best season of Van Persie’s career as the whole world saw him develop into the player he promised to be ever since that volley against Charlton way back in October 2006. Despite qualms about his age I think this actually works in the Dutchman’s favour as he can add some experience and leadership to what is starting to look like a very young front line. If we are playing the likes of Hazard, Mata, Marin and Ramires etc in our attacking positions it is important to have a senior figure leading the line. Didier Drogba did it superbly during his time with us and RVP, having led Arsenal since the departure of Cesc Fabregas is equally able in fulfilling this role. Playing Van Persie with Hazard, Mata and Marin just behind him would be an incredible proposition if it were to happen but as with any deals there are some snags with this transfer.
First and foremost are the player’s wage demands. These have been well documented and it is believed they are in the region of £200,000 per week which would certainly have Roman thinking twice as it is seems unlikely that Van Persie will baulk from these requirements. The other question is whether the player would want to come as he has expressed a desire for the tradition of Manchester United and Juventus which is believed to be one of the reasons that Manchester City have pulled out of the race to sign him. We do not possess the same kind of history as these two clubs and of course as Arsenal are fierce rivals he may have too much loyalty to consider a move across the capital. It is not without precedent however as I’m sure we all remember the infamous move made by Ashley Cole in 2006. Since then it is striking to compare the number of trophies won by the two players and I wonder if that will play on Van Persie’s mind.
Nevertheless it would be a fantastic signing in my opinion but in all reality a highly unlikely one. RDM and Roman are clearly chasing a striker and with most of our new signings unproven in the Premier League Van Persie offers the security of years in this division that players such as Falcao and Cavani cannot match. The transfer is nothing more than a pipe dream but I am surprised to see that we haven’t been linked with the player at all thus far.