No time to sell, insists Van Persie

Dutchman insists Arsenal cannot afford to lose big names again this summer

The Arsenal forward Robin van Persie has called on the club to keep their top players this summer and avoid a repeat of the major departures of a year ago. The Gunners lost Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb and Gilberto Silva at the end of last season, and Van Persie yesterday stressed the importance of keeping the current squad together.

Gaël Clichy is on Real Madrid's radar, according to Spanish sources, while Emmanuel Adebayor has endured a frustrating season, but Theo Walcott has agreed a new deal and Van Persie is expected to do the same. "The main thing for me is that we stay together," Van Persie said.

"If we lose three or four every year, it is hard to get the spirit in. Hopefully, we can stay here and have a real go at it. If we can produce games like we did this year there is room for improvement – if you look at our midfield it is between 20 and 22."

The centre-back Kolo Touré has hinted he is ready to commit himself to the club and play his part in keeping the squad together. Touré said: "There is still time on my contract and I hope the club will show that they need me."

The Gunners will finish fourth in the Premier League this season and have gone half a decade without a trophy now their challenge for silverware is over, with calls from former players such as Emmanuel Petit for the club's manager, Arsène Wenger, to spend heavily. Wenger bought the striker Andrei Arshavin in January but does not expect more changes when the transfer window opens. "We have a team who is 22 years old [on average], why should we look for revolution?" the manager said. "That would be stupid and not responsible. I still believe that when you have responsibilities, you have to make decisions and stand up for that. Until now we have not done too badly."

Wenger told the French sports paper L'Equipe he does not know how much money he will have in the summer. "I do not think that the team need major investments," he said.

Wenger's project and the way he has nurtured talent gives the club something to be proud of, according to Van Persie, who said: "If you look at our squad and different teams, for example Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool, what they cost and what we have cost, that has something to do with it. We can be proud of ourselves."

Petit, however, believes Wenger should spend what he can. "Arsenal have not won anything in four years," Petit said. "Everything was done to bring together a young team and make it progress step by step, after [Thierry] Henry's departure. But, at the end of the day, the transition did not work out. Arsène Wenger was always protected by David Dein [Arsenal's former vice-chairman], but today the shareholders, the fans and the press are doing soul-searching.

"Arsène is extremely intelligent, a visionary. I am not saying that he should change his ways, but if he managed to find a compromise between youth and experience, like Manchester and every dominant team in Europe, he would find the right mix. But it means spending more money."

The Zenit St Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is a player who would be willing to move to Arsenal. Pogrebnyak told Sport Express: "I think for any player to have the opportunity to work with Arsène Wenger would be a big step forward."

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering