News that Robin van Persie has decided he will not renew his contract with Arsenal is neither a shock nor a surprise to members of the live soccer betting community.
A look back through recent history and the stark reminder is that once any player decides he wants to leave, the goal-posts are moved irreparably.
Forget the well-scripted line to keep disgruntled fans on-side that “it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward”. Roughly translated, this is dressing-room parlance for ‘I’ve had enough’.
The Netherlands striker has reached the point of no return career-wise and recognises the next contract he signs – he is in his last year at Arsenal – is likely to define his career. He will be 29 by the time the new domestic season starts and at the start of the down slope to his peak years.
Consider that van Persie’s only trophy as an Arsenal player, excluding the Community Shield, is the 2005 FA Cup, as a substitute, and he can be forgiven for thinking he has abetter chance of lining his silverware cabinet elsewhere.
The Rotterdam-born talisman carried the north Londoners last season, scoring 30top-flight goals in an impressive and, mercifully, injury-free campaign.
However, signs that he was carrying some weight on his shoulders were evident in a fraught and forgettable Euro 2012 campaign in which he scored just one goal for the Dutch.
Arsene Wenger, perhaps in readiness for this eventuality, has moved to bring in Montpellier title-winner Olivier Giroud and Germany international Lukas Podolski.
Whether he thought he could play all three we will never know, although several soccer betting tips reckon Wenger always knew it was an unlikely scenario.
Van Persie is certainly not the first – think Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy – but Gunners fans will be praying he is the last in a long line of marquee players to want to leave the Emirates.