Gervinho - RVP must stay

Ivorian says Arsenal skipper has to remain at the Emirates

Van Persie: Gervinho believes the Arsenal captain must stay

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Arsenal forward Gervinho believes it is crucial that captain Robin van Persie remains at the club.

The Gunners skipper came off the bench to score twice in the 3-1 victory over Stoke on Sunday, with Gervinho netting the opener at Emirates Stadium.

The 28-year-old Dutch international has scored 30 goals in 36 matches this year, but his current contract runs out at the end of next season and he has not begun discussions about a new one.

"We always need our best players so a player like Robin, frankly, we need him to stay at the club," said Gervinho.

"It would give me pleasure if he stayed. I have just arrived and I would like him to stay so I can play with him a while longer.

"This is a personal thing between Robin, the coach and the directors. Each of us takes care of his own career and the most important thing in the dressing room is to talk about the team.

"Psychologically, Robin is good for us. He is among the most experienced players on the pitch and when he comes on, he puts the opposition's defence under pressure and that helps our game.

"Against Stoke, he came on and scored two goals. He is an excellent player and the team need him.

"You always have to have leaders in the group and he is a player who drags the team forward. He is the captain, his role is to galvanise the group and he assumes the responsibility."

Both Van Persie and Ivory Coast international Gervinho are expected to be rested by Arsene Wenger when Arsenal take on Bolton in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.