• Premier League

'Very important' Arsenal keep Van Persie - Dein

ESPN staff
April 23, 2012

Former Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein, insists Arsenal must tie Robin van Persie to a new contract after the Dutchman was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday.

Van Persie has enjoyed an incredible season, scoring 27 league goals to help Arsenal to third position in the Premier League. If the Gunners secure Champions League football for the next campaign, they will hope it will be enough to keep the striker at the club.

Boss Arsene Wenger has seen some big names walk away from Emirates Stadium in recent years, with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both jumping ship in pursuit of trophies at other clubs. After another fruitless campaign, it is feared Van Persie may follow suit.

Dein was at Arsenal when Van Persie arrived at the club as a supporting attacker rather than a centre-forward. And he insists it is vital that a player of the Arsenal skipper's talent and maturity stays at the club.

"He is very important to the club and it is not every day you can get a guy who can score over 30 goals in a season," Dein said on Sky Sports News.

"There was a lot of competition at the time and we are very fortunate he signed for us. I was delighted and he has proved the point because he has been such a prolific goalscorer for the club.

"He plays with passion, he plays with his heart and, as you heard in his speech, he is a very modest guy.

"He has done a great job for the club and the fact that he has stayed with the club all this time, when he has had plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere, says a lot about Robin's character."

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