Last week we asked whether Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski were signed in order to act as replacements for Robin van Persie or to play alongside him. Well it seems we now know the answer.
Van Persie yesterday declared his intentions to leave the club after refusing to sign a new contract. Arsenal could make him remain at the club for another season and let him leave on a free, or they could decide to cash-in this summer.
Either way it was another bitter blow for Arsenal fans who have seen the likes of Kolo Toure, Matheiu Flamini, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas all quit the club and go on to win medals with their new sides.
It must have been especially painful to see Nasri, Clichy and Toure all move to another Premier League club, and even worse, a side that went on to win the title last season as Arsenal finished in third.
Whether Van Persie leaves this summer, or next year, the question remains, how will they cope without the talismanic forward? Had the Holland international not been at the Emirates last season then the club would certainly have struggled to secure Champions League football.
His 30 league goals did not just make up more than 40% of all league goals scored, but it was the importance of so many of the strikes. When struggling to break a side down, it was often a Van Persie effort that broke the deadlock.
He excelled in the crucial 5-2 win over Tottenham, before scoring both goals in the 2-1 win against Liverpool which kept them in the hunt for Champions league football. This was not the first, or the last time, that Van Persie would prove crucial.
But soon Arsene Wenger will no longer be able to call upon the striker. instead he will look to Giroud and Podolski. He also still has Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young on the books.
In previous seasons Arsenal have dealt well with the loss of players. Fabregas leaving meant Jack Wilshere could step in to fill his boots, with no Clichy there is room for youth academy graduate Kieran Gibbs.
Only time will tell if Arsenal can continue to finish in the top four, however, in Giroud and Podolski there are now at least options. But we want to hear the thoughts of Arsenal fans so get involved and leave a message below….