Jens Lehmann backs Arsene Wenger to make right call over Robin van Persie

 

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has every confidence Arsene Wenger will once again prove himself the master tactician as the club look to tie down the future of captain Robin van Persie one way or another.

Van Persie still has a year left on his current deal, but talks over an extension have so far not been concluded.

The Dutchman, who netted 30 Barclays Premier League goals to help fire Arsenal to a third place finish, is now likely to delay any formal decision until after the European Championships, with several top clubs across Europe said to be prepared to offer lucrative terms to temp him away from Emirates Stadium.

Van Persie turns 29 in early August, and so the next contract he signs could well be his last.

Lehmann, who won the Premier League title as part of the Invincibles side of 2003/2004, accepts his former team-mate has plenty to think about, but feels Wenger will help make the right choice for all involved.

"Robin is now 28 and this will be his last big contract. He has to consider everything," said Lehmann, 42, who had a brief spell back at his old club in 2011, making his 200th appearance in a Premier League game at Blackpool.

"Arsene Wenger was always a master at buying and selling players at the right time. He still has the quality to evaluate the real value of Robin van Persie.

"He always considers the past value of the player and the future value of the player.

"Of course it would be a good sign for the supporters if Robin stayed, but when you consider his next contract could be four years, he would be 32."

Arsenal secured third place, and with it automatic qualification into next season's Champions League, on the final day to end what had been a testing campaign on a high.

To even be in contention for the top four had seemed a long way off as the Gunners struggled for consistency earlier in the season.

Lehmann believes if his old club can hit the ground running, then 2013 could just turn out to be a vintage year.

"At the end it was a great effort from the whole team," said the former German international, who was in Munich to watch Chelsea beat Bayern and claim the Champions League trophy.

"I remember Arsene Wenger said he was quite optimistic Arsenal would get this place and finish ahead of Spurs, which didn't seem to be the case eight weeks before the end of the season."

Lehmann added: "On their day, Arsenal can always perform, but the consistency in the league was missing.

"You never know with them. They are very skilled and talented players.

"Sometimes it just needs to click and all of a sudden they are back there again."

Arsenal have already added German striker Lukas Podolski to their squad for next season, which is set to be trimmed as several fringe players leave.

Bolton, meanwhile, are keen to tie up Japan winger Ryo Miyaichi on another season-long loan as they prepare for life in the npower Championship.

Midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is, though, determined to force his way back into the Arsenal first-team again, having been sidelined by another serious knee injury following a temporary switch to Wolves last season.

The 20-year-old said on Sky Sports: "When I had the first one people were telling me it takes ages to get back playing at the level I was playing at before and when I came back with Arsenal I think I showed everyone I was still the same player.

"Hopefully I can come back this time and show everyone I am still the same player again."

PA

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?