Van Persie urged to stay at the Emirates

Arsenal attacker Gervinho has stressed the importance of Robin van Persie to the North London club, and admitted that he hopes his team-mate will extend his contract.

The Netherlands international has been in scintillating form for The Gunners, but has not yet signed a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, with his contract expiring in June 2013.

Gervinho has stated that he enjoys partnering Van Persie in attack, and hopes that he does not opt to leave the club.

“I don’t want the sale of Robin van Persie. Arsenal is a team that needs good footballers and leaders on the field,” he told Mirror Football.

“Robin is a player who pushes companions to work harder and give more effort during matches. He is a dream to play with.

“Van Persie is the captain and the boss in the group, without doubt. I saw that from my first day at the club.

“For me, when opponents see Robin on the other side, it is a huge psychological blow. I am always happy playing with him,” he stated.

The Ivory Coast international will be unavailable for Arsene Wenger’s men for at least a month as he is away on African Cup of Nations duty, and has apologised to the Emirates faithful for his absence.

“I am sorry I can’t help my Gunners team-mates but the Ivory Coast needs my collaboration. My country is very important and our challenge is to reach the final,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight