Van Persie pleads to keep squad together

Arsenal forward Robin van Persie is desperate for manager Arsene Wenger to keep hold of the Gunners' prize assets this summer.

The Dutch ace watched on a year ago as Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb and Gilberto Silva all departed the Emirates Stadium to pastures new, leaving a young Gunners squad lacking experienced leaders.

As a result, the North London have endured another frustrating season in 2008/09, compounded in the last seven days by emphatic home defeats to Manchester United and Chelsea.

They have now completed four campaigns without picking up a trophy since their 2005 FA Cup triumph at the Millennium Stadium.

And with highly-rated left-back Gael Clichy being linked with Real Madrid and striker Emmanuel Adebayor with AC Milan, Van Persie - who is expected to extend his contract along with Theo Walcott - is keen for the club to avoid another summer of departures.

"The main thing is that we stay together," he said.

"If we lose three or four players every year, it is hard to get the spirit in. Hopefully we can stay here and have a real go at it.

"If we can produce games like we did this year there is room for improvement. If you look at our midfield, it is between 20 and 22." 

NEWS: Lee Dixon: Arsenal should ditch Adebayor
NEWS: Ian Wright: Wenger out of tune with fans

ARSENAL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read:
Web Exclusives Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas
Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas
One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright
Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore
Perfect XI Ian Wright
What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello
And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan

Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter