Former Arsenal striker Eduardo has described the club’s decision to sell Robin van Persie and Alex Song as a “big mistake”.
“It is a big mistake to sell them, they were the most important players last season,” Eduardo told BBC Sport. “But they have other quality players to stay as a big club at the top.
“Van Persie and Song were the key players last season – they held the team. When you lose two players like that, your chance of finishing in the top four is less. But Arsenal still have a good team and I’m confident they will do well. Last year when they lost Nasri and Fabregas, everyone thought they would not finish in the top four but they did.
“When the season finishes, we’ll see if it was a mistake or not. It’s very sad to lose two big players like that but we must respect the new players and believe they can keep Arsenal at the top.”
Arsene Wenger has not finished wheeling and dealing in the transfer market this summer, but based on what he has done so far, I believe that Arsenal are better off than they were last season and that Eduardo is wrong in his assessment of their transfer dealings this summer.
Robin van Persie is a big lose. He was the Player of the League in England and he went to a rival. His goals carried Arsenal into third place in the league last season. The flip side is that RVP has spent most of his Arsenal career injured. Was last year a career year for him or can he keep that sort of goal scoring pace up for the next four seasons? I am not sure he can.
As for Alex Song, Arsenal leaked goals last season, and one of the reasons was because Song had been caught too far forward and the Gunners defense was exposed. At 24, Song will get better, but Wenger has plenty of options within his squad for players who can step in and provide the defensive support that Song wasn’t.
To look at the RVP and Song sales you also have to look at who Arsenal brought in. For the money received for RVP, Wenger bought experienced German international Lukas Podolski and the top scorer in Ligue 1 last season Olivier Giroud. With the Song money he bought Santi Cazorla, who was so impressive against Sunderland at the weekend.
There is no doubt that Cazorla is a better player than Song. And the combination of Podolski and Giroud should between them at least equal the number of goals that van Persie scored last year.
So by my calculations, Arsenal are ahead of the game. And if they add Real Madrid starlet Nuri Sahin, then Arsenal will have had one of the best summers of any side in the Premier League.