Wenger accepts ‘gamble’ of selling Van Persie

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has taken a major gamble by letting

captain and star striker Robin van Persie leave for Manchester

United. And he could be about to lose key midfielder Alex Song as


Van Persie joined United on Friday on a four-year contract and a

transfer fee estimated by the British media at 24 million pounds

($38 million). It leaves Arsenal without last season’s top scorer

in the Premier League and two newcomers to English football in

Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

”The reality is when the player doesn’t want to stay, you have

two ways: you either force him to stay or you accept the reality

and you let him go. I have chosen the second solution,” Wenger


”I know it is a massive challenge and a massive gamble I took

but we have the quality to deal with the problem we have, and at

the end of the day I can talk and talk and talk but we can only

show it on the pitch now.”

Though Arsenal has lost a string of top players in recent

seasons, notably midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, the

Frenchman tried to look at the bigger picture.

”Time heals all things and of course at the moment people are

hurt, which I understand, but what is important for us is to focus

on the season in front of us,” Wenger said.

”Players have gone, life goes on and the football club is 125

years old and other big players have left this club and we have

always gone from season to season in a strong way.”

The Arsenal coach conceded he could also be about to lose

midfielder Song, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

Asked about Song’s possible exit and new players being signed,

Wenger says ”both can happen.”

Wenger said ”this decision (on Song) is not made,” but added

that no bid had been received for the player.