‘Robin van Persie belongs at Arsenal. We are confident he will stay’

Wojciech Szczesny revels in derby glory and believes Gunners captain will stay at the Emirates

Wojciech Szczesny has said he is confident that Arsenal captain Robin van Persie will stay at the club after the Dutchman gave another inspired display in Sunday’s thrilling derby destruction of Spurs.

Van Persie scored his 23rd Premier League goal of the season and his 29th in total in the 5-2 win, but confirmed that his contract talks are on hold until the summer, when he will enter the final year of his current deal.

Polish keeper Szczesny said on Sunday: “We really don’t discuss that [his contract], it is not our business. We just want to have him at the club.

“We are trying to make the most of it while he is here, he is a great captain and leader of the team and we are very pleased to have him. I’m personally confident that he will stay at Arsenal. That is where he belongs and that is where he is at his very best.

“He’s not bad is he? He only scored one goal today though, which is really disappointing for him, we are used to him scoring a hat-trick!

“But he set up a couple and he was great. He worked very hard defensively, headed a few balls away when we defended corners and scored a fantastic goal. That’s what he is all about - he is the best player in the Premier League and we are very pleased to have him.

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“He does his talking on the pitch by scoring all the goals for this club and I think that shows you his commitment. We are confident that he will stay at Arsenal.”

Following Sunday’s dramatic victory, Szczesny feels Arsenal can finish above north London rivals Spurs having closed the gap on their third-placed rivals to a margin of seven points.

That is still a sizeable lead with just 12 games of the Premier League season remaining, but Szczesny believes that the ‘momentum’ is now with the Gunners and that they can retain their proud record of not having finished below Spurs in the final table since 1995.

“After what we have done today we believe we can challenge Tottenham because we are six or seven points behind them now and we have the momentum. I hope we can challenge them.

“I said ages ago that we can’t realistically win the Premier League any more but now my main ambition is to finish above Tottenham. You can see that we are not any worse than them and when we have the momentum and are on the front foot, we are very dangerous.

“We needed that performance, needed that result and it came at a very important time for us.

“Every single goal felt better than the previous one and I was celebrating quite energetically I think. But I loved it. For me as an Arsenal fan to beat Tottenham - it is the first time I have beaten them as well - it is just great.”