Simon English: Gunners have hit target with sale of Van Persie

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The Independent Online

Outlook Since my City trading pal is an Arsenal fan, I thought he'd be sick about the sale of his best player to Manchester United.

But he thinks about such things, indeed about all things, like a trader first and a fan second. Money is more important than foolish emotions, or even home wins.

The £24m the Gunners will pocket for Robin van Persie is, he says, a fantastic piece of business. According to ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, the striker could win the title for Manchester United. "He could be the difference," says 'arry. Alternatively he could be injured pre-season and unavailable until March. Van Persie cost Arsenal less than £3m so the money from Man U represents a return on their investment of 900 per cent.

In City terms, this a top-of-the-market sale. In the film (and book) Moneyball, the tale is told of how Billy Beane, the manager of baseball side the Oakland A's, puts together a good team on a low budget by use of computer-generated analysis that includes an understanding of probability. Beane, my trader and Arsene Wenger thought Van Persie was a raging sell at £24m and I agree. We all, of course, wish him well for the new season.

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