• Premier League

Chamakh ready to step up and replace Van Persie

ESPN staff
July 24, 2012
Marouane Chamakh is ready to step into Robin van Persie's shoes © PA Photos

Marouane Chamakh is hopeful he can fill the void left by Robin van Persie if the Dutch striker leaves Arsenal this summer.

Van Persie's future at Emirates Stadium is currently the subject of a great deal of speculation, with the 28-year-old refusing to extend his contract at the club and the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus all keen to sign the former Feyenoord youngster.

Chamakh's own future with the Gunners is hardly certain, after a disappointing campaign last term where he failed to make a great impact, but the Moroccan has pledged to step up if Van Persie departs.

"If I am staying here with Arsenal, I will do my best for the team and give the maximum," Chamakh said. "Last season was difficult. We were playing with just one striker [Van Persie] and that striker was the best player in Europe. There was not a lot I could do.

"I was upset because thought I could have played more but football is like that. Sometimes you do not have a chance.

"I hope this season I will play more than last. I have not spoken with the manager but I will soon."

Arsenal have signed both Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud already this summer, meaning the competition for places will not be any less for Chamakh even if Van Persie leaves the north London club.

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old insists he will be able to prove his worth if he is given a run in the first team.

"In the first six months after signing I had lots of games but after that I only played a few," he said. "Now I hope this season will be good for me and the club.

"Yes, I need more confidence. But to be confident I need to play more. I am determined to stay."

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