It’s not just Robin van Persie that doesn’t want to renew his contract, hoping he’ll find himself playing for a better team in the very near future. Theo Walcott seems ready to follow his teammate as the next star to leave Arsenal, who are already looking for suitable substitutes up front, heading into the 2012-2013 season.
Because even with the additions of Lukas Podolski, a rather qualified goalscorer, and Olivier Giroud, who has one impressive season and impressive numbers behind him, it looks like it won’t be enough to fill the hole that’ll be left by Van Persie’s departure. Now they might need to fill the Walcott option as well.
Walcott, just like Van Persie, has one year left on his contract. His plan, all along, was to show his cards only after the Euro, and after Robin van Persie makes his intentions regarding the future of his Arsenal career. Now that he sees another one of the club’s best players announce his attention to search for better fortunes (and money) elsewhere.
So where do Arsenal look for replacement(s)? Depends on who you listen to – Robert Lewandowski, one of the more talked about names this summer after a great season for Dortmund and a so-so Euro with Poland, who has been initially linked with Manchester United, is now on the Arsenal shortlist. Dortmund aren’t exactly keen on letting anyone go after already selling Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United, but you can never say never about transfers.
Another player Arsenal might like to look into is one Stevan Jovetic, one whose name has been on a lot of teams for the last 3-4 years. Last season wasn’t so great for Fiorentina, but Jovetic had his best season of his career, scoring 14 goals, the best production of his young career. Jovetic isn’t exactly a striker replacement, but if Walcott is also on the fritz and thinking about leaving, Arsenal will need more than just a striker.
Eventually, it comes down to the club’s willingness to spend. There’s also some kind of ownership battle regarding how the club is run. Arsene Wenger isn’t the one getting blamed for everything this time. The majority owner, Stan Kroenke, is. Whether that changes the way Arsenal approach the transfers situation in the next couple of months, we need to wait see. What is certain is that Van Persie would like to leave before Arsenal head off to their Asian tour on July 24.