Arsenal: Should the Gunners make a bid for Van der Vaart?
Arsenal were rocked this week by the news that club captain Robin Van Persie had decided he would not sign a new contract with the Gunners. But could the Gunners replace one Dutchman with another?
Arsene Wenger has reportedly always been a huge admirer of Rafael Van der Vaart but missed the boat when Harry Redknapp signed him for Spurs from Real Madrid. However, with the north London rivals reportedly willing to let their Dutch playmaker leave the Lane for £10 million should Wenger enter the bidding?
Of course Van der Vaart would not be a like-for-like replacement for RVP - that is near impossible - and Spurs will of course be unlikely to sell to their main rivals, but Van der Vaart has all the skills to be a hit at the Emirates. He may not be the quickest across the ground, but mentally he is as sharp as a knife. Technically VDV is awesome. He can hold on to the ball, play himself out of tight situations, play a defence-splitting pass and score. In the eyes of many, VDV is an Arsenal player at the wrong club.
Some sceptics will look at VDV's age and say there is no chance of Wenger signing him. Maybe that was true in the past but not now. Only last season Wenger paid Everton £10 million for the services of Mikel Arteta, and look at how good he has been for the Gunners. Santos also joined at the age of 28. Wenger has realised that his side needs a few experienced heads in there.
Van der Vaart is a class player. Even Arsenal fans have to concede that Redknapp pulled off a great bit of business with that one. And the move would make perfect sense for Arsenal. He is technically superb, has Premier League and Champions League experience and would be desperate to prove Spurs wrong by letting him leave. It would be a win-win situation for Arsenal.
It's not as if transfers between Arsenal and Spurs are rare occurrences. It's not like with Celtic and Rangers or Liverpool and Manchester United. Although the rivalry is just as intense, players are able to switch red for white and vice-versa. William Gallas did it in 2010, Sol Campbell controversially did it in 2001 and Pat Jennings did it in 1977. Others like David Bentley, Rohan Ricketts and Emmanuel Adebayor have also played for both clubs.
Van der Vaart would be fully aware that his standing with the Spurs support would vanish overnight and that he would become a hate figure for them, but if the club doesn't want him and he wants to remain in England then why wouldn't he consider Arsenal? They are the club most suited to his style of football.
Could Arsene Wenger be about to throw another log into the fierce rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs by signing VDV?
Calling all Arsenal fans: Would you like to see Rafael Van der Vaart in an Arsenal shirt at the Emirates? Forget his past with Spurs, how do you rate VDV as a player? Do you think he could do a job at the Emirates? For £10 million, do you think Van der Vaart is a risk worth taking? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.