Friday, August 17, 2012

Dominic Fifield: Arsenal ready for Van Persie-less future without needing to panic buy

Arsène Wenger learned lessons from last summer's late spree and this time he bought in reinforcements before the captain's exit.

Podolski's arrival was announced before the end of last season, a left-sided attacker like Van Persie but, moreover, a £10.75m statement of intent. Giroud, secured on the eve of Euro 2012 having played a significant role in propelling Montpellier to an unlikely Ligue 1 title, appeared a focal point for the team's attacking intentions: strong, mobile, prolific. Santi Cazorla's arrival from Malaga is mouthwatering. If the fee for Van Persie, a 29-year-old with a Bosman free on the horizon, ends up amounting to £24m, then that trio – bought for a little under £40m combined – might leave the collective stronger.

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