Arsenal’s Gervinho: Why Robin van Persie has got to stay

Gunners goalscorer wants to keep on setting up chances for his captain

Arsenal forward Gervinho has pleaded with Robin van Persie to commit his future to the Gunners so the pair can continue to wreak havoc on defences as they did to Stoke City on Sunday.

Gervinho scored the opener in the 3-1 win against the Potters and then provided the assists to Van Persie for the two late goals that sealed Arsenal’s fourth successive home win in the Premier League, and their fifth in six games overall.

And the Ivory Coast international admitted afterwards: “We always need our best players so a player like Robin, frankly, we need him to stay at the club.

“It would give me pleasure if he stayed. I have just arrived and I would like him to stay so I can play with him a while longer.”

Van Persie’s contract expires in the summer of 2013 and the Gunners captain, who has now scored 30 goals in 36 games in 2011, has made it clear he is not currently interested in extending it.

Both the Dutchman and Arsene Wenger declined to discuss the subject on Sunday, but Gervinho made it clear how the rest of the players feel about their free-scoring captain.

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“This is a personal thing between Robin, the coach and the directors,” added the summer signing from Lille. “Each of us takes care of his own career and the most important thing in the dressing room is to talk about the team.

“Psychologically, Robin is good for us. He is among the most experienced players on the pitch and when he comes on, he puts the opposition’s defence under pressure and that helps our game.

“You always have to have leaders in the group and he is a player who drags the team forward. He is the captain, his role is to galvanise the group and he assumes responsibility.”