‘We Can’t Rely On Van Persie’, says Wenger

Arsenal boss admits that striker shouldn't be their only option after rumours of his departure.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Amidst a flood of rumours surrounding striker Robin Van Persie's possible departure from Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger has spoken out about his club's over-reliance on the Dutch footballer to score goals for them.

Wenger, speaking after the Gunners barely managed to pull off a 3 – 3 draw against Norwich, said: "Again we are punished because Robin had to score and many times we do not get enough goals from elsewhere. We had so many obvious chances that you would want somebody else to score one." 

The game saw Norwich take a 1 – 2 lead in the first half, but Van Persie managed to bring the Gunners back in the closing 20 minutes, before Norwich's Morison clawed his squad back a point in the 85th minute. The draw was just one in a long line of unpredictable results for Arsenal, who have relied far too strongly on the indisputable talents of Van Persie to help them cling onto their place in next year's Champions League.

Wenger added: "When you look at the chances we created, it is absolutely unbelievable that we scored only three goals. Of course we need to address that because I feel there was enough room to score six or seven goals."

"We have character because to come from where we did [earlier in the season], but maybe subconsciously we thought, 'okay, we will do it against Norwich'. We have had room to do even better.

"When you consider the last three home games we have taken two points, when you are so close to where we were, we have a lot of regrets. Let us hope we will not pay the heavy price for that."

Van Persie's speculated departure from the club has been fuelled some way by the striker's recent admission that he would "always be a gunner", a comment he made after receiving the Football Writers' Player of the Year award. This was seen by many as more of a heartfelt goodbye rather than a statement of intent.

New rumours have circulated today that Arsenal are aiming to lure Clint Dempsey away from Fulham in order to fill the void that Van Persie will leave, with the Dutchman reportedly being offered a £250,000-a-week deal from Manchester City to join them in the summer. This is a great deal more than the £150,000-a-week that his current club have reportedly offered him, but as is always the case with tabloid gossip, this information should be taken with a hefty spoonful of salt.

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