Arsenal must keep Robin van Persie warns Patrick Vieira

 

As Robin van Persie headed for Switzerland yesterday to join his international team-mates, with a contract extension at Arsenal still to be agreed, Patrick Vieira said it was vital to his old club that they retained the Dutchman.

“I think losing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas last year was a big shock for the people who love Arsenal,” said Vieira. “If they lose Van Persie it will be a drama. With Samir and Cesc you could say, 'OK those two are gone, but there is Jack Wilshere and Van Persie still at the club'. But if Robin leaves who is behind? If he leaves it's going to be difficult for Arsenal to keep the top players, next year it may be Theo Walcott, then Jack Wilshere. But if they keep Robin they're going to send a positive message to all the clubs and to all the people around. It's really important to keep him.”

“I'm quite surprised his contract (which is entering its last year) has got to this stage. It's really difficult to find players of the quality of Robin Van Persie with one year left around the world and there will be a lot of teams who will want a player like him, not just Manchester City [who Vieira now works for]. They should have settled this a long time ago, but Arsenal don’t need me to tell them that. That’s the way it is and they will have to deal with it. There's still a year, he's not gone yet.”

Vieira is the last Arsenal skipper to lift a trophy, the FA Cup in 2005, Van Persie’s only honour in eight seasons at the club, and he said: “Robin wants to win trophies. Arsenal have to show him he can do it with Arsenal. The best way for them to get him to sign a contract is to bring players to the club who can show him that the club are in the same line as him.”

So far Arsenal have signed German striker Lukas Podolski, from Cologne but Van Persie, who held talks at the north London home of manager Arsene Wenger on Wednesday with Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis, and Van Persie’s agent Kees Vos, before joining the Netherlands’ pre-Euro 2012 training camp in Switzerland, will expect more recruits. Vieira, who will be at the tournament with ITV Sport, added: “We know how Robin loves Arsenal, that's not the question; the question is how Arsene Wenger will convince Robin they can win trophies.”

“Arsenal has qualified for the Champions League again but it's not enough. I'm sure that if you ask Arsene he'll say, ‘of course it's not enough’. All the people at the football club will tell you it's not enough.

“They've been quite close [to winning trophies] for quite a long time. They've got a lot of young players so over the years they can get experience and they're going to be better players. The first step is to keep all the quality players and the talent.”

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture