Van Persie the glue holding Arsenal together

Arsenal will be keen to sign captain Robin van Persie to a new

contract with the striker becoming the glue holding the team’s

season together after a terrible start following Cesc Fabregas’ and

Samir Nasri’s exits this summer.

Van Persie rescued the team Sunday after scoring both of the

Gunners’ goals, including a late winner, in a 2-1 victory over

Sunderland that moved it to 10th in the Premier League table.

While the Netherlands striker’s contract expires in 2013, Van

Persie said he isn’t in a rush to sign a new deal and insists he is

”committed” to Arsenal.

”The ideal situation is that he extends his contract,” Arsenal

manager Arsene Wenger said. ”If he doesn’t, you have to respect

that. What’s important is that he plays as he plays. We are all

here to see special football players, and he is a special football

player.”

Recent reports have suggested the 28-year-old Van Persie may

look to leave the struggling club, which was 15th in the table

before the match. Its position is further exposed as the north

London club has been a regular top-four finisher during Wenger’s

15-year tenure.

Van Persie has become the club’s leader and key player following

Fabregas’ return to Barcelona and Nasri’s departure for Manchester

City.

”Van Persie knows that we are ready to talk about it,” Wenger

said from the Emirates Stadium. ”But the most important thing is

what you do today, tomorrow and how much you are committed to the

cause as long as you are at the club.”

Man City is among the teams reportedly interested in signing the

28-year-old and speculation increased recently after Van Persie put

his London home up for sale.

”I had seen loads of comments about a story like that,” Van

Persie said after the game. ”I thought after one or two days it

would go away, but it didn’t so I felt it was time to explain

things and I did that.”

Van Persie also told Sky: ”I’m committed. This is my eighth

year. If you can say of one player that he’s committed, it’s

me.”

Against Sunderland, Van Persie scored after just 29 seconds

before stepping up to add his second in the 83rd minute with a

sublime effort from 25 yards (meters). That took his league tally

to five goals.

Wenger has never questioned Van Persie’s motivation.

”Many people questioned his leadership qualities,” Wenger

said. ”I believe he’s completely committed to the cause on a daily

basis and what’s even more important is that on the football pitch,

he does the job.”