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As season nears its climax, should Arsene Wenger consider selling injury prone stars?

Tomas Rosicky will miss tonight's Champions League encounter with AC Milan through injury, meaning that for yet another game this season, Arsenal will be minus one of their most inspirational playmakers.

To date this season, Rosicky has started just 19 of the Gunners' 42 games, scoring seven goals along the way. Another Arsenal player on seven goals is Robin van Persie who has started just 13 games.

Both players are successful internationalists with the potential to be world class stars of the game, but to say they are injury prone is a huge understatement and Arsene Wenger must be more frustrated than the rest of us that two players, who he would be hoping he could rely on to unlock opposition defences, spend the majority of the season on the sidelines.

To put their lack of games into perspective, the world's most injury prone striker, Michael Owen, has started 15 games this season. He's only scored a paltry six times, but it underlines just how much two of our most prized assets spend in the treatment room...

If I'm honest, I've always been a little disappointed with both RvP and Rosicky. I know that they are both phenomenally talented footballers, but apart from the odd flash of brilliance, there has been no sustained period where either man has lived up to the hype - mostly because of the aforementioned injuries.

As a famous pundit used to say, football is a funny old game, and there are definitely individuals who, through one reason or another, spend inordinate amounts of time watching their team mates from the stands. But when those players are worth tens of millions of pounds, it isn't just us fans who get frustrated and a savvy coach like Arsene Wenger will no doubt weigh up the pros and cons of having such expensive assets remaining unused. The names of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira spring to mind for anyone doubting Le Gaffer's ruthless streak in such matters.

So with the season starting to wind up, will Arsene look to offload his crocks while he can still cash in on their multi-million pound price tags? Knowing Le Gaffer he's probably got a short list of replacements: Samuel Eto'o and Luka Modric, perhaps?

What do you reckon? Can Arsenal afford to have such important players sitting on the sidelines when we have such as small first team squad? Would the money generated from the sale of players such as RvP and Rosicky be better used to bring in new faces who could contribute in more games? Or maybe you think Wenger should use his massive transfer budget to give him more options, rather than replacements? Share your thoughts here using our comments section below.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on February 20, 2008 1:45 PM in Debate of the Day| News| Players
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Comments

Whilst I agree with a lot of your comments and both players'injury records frustrate me as well, it is hard to make the case that both are worth "tens of millions of pounds"
Other clubs would take their injury absences into account in tabling any bid, if bidding at all. With their current level of wages, I have grave doubts if AW could off-load them in the near future.
Perhaps the best solution would be to make it clear to both that any future contracts would have to take account of their previous availability.

Posted by: Bob Smart | February 20, 2008 3:00 PM

van persie cost 3 mill., rosicky, 8 mill. so theyre not players who cost a phenomenal lot and arent living up to it(read reyes, jeffers, wright phillips, shevchenko). a bad spell on the injury front doesnt mean they cant come back and be worldbeaters. clichy had the same sort of protracted spell on the sidelines and look what hes become. Thses guys are good, the Arsenal medical staff are very competent and I dont mind if they miss the whole of this season as long as theyre available the next, fully fit an ready to go.

Posted by: tarun | February 20, 2008 5:50 PM

This year Arsenal are in perhaps the BEST position to win the EPL in the coming years as things are tightening. But this is all under threat if Arsenal cant get its best players to play. It will take a couple of off-days for Ade to surrender the Premiership to United. RVP and Rocisky need to step up and help out. The signs of strain on this team are all to clear. You'll believe me in May, or on April 12.

Posted by: Justin | February 20, 2008 9:42 PM

Being a very large RVP fan, I am about to go mad. This year was supposed to be his break out season from the Henry shadow. I think releasing him would be a huge mistake considering the money we are paying him. RVP's potential has been seen, but not for a true full season, and I promise you we will regret it for the rest of our lives if he transfers. He is still only 24 years old.... Imagine ADE & RVP attacking you ( we can only dream )

Posted by: Royal Arsenal | February 21, 2008 3:57 AM

Off-load RvP today, and keep Rosicky.

Posted by: mj | February 21, 2008 7:28 AM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=RqlFME6Lu04

watch!!!

Posted by: darkobrtan | February 27, 2008 4:13 PM

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