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.''