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Wright talks van Persie and Gunners new boy Podolski

Last Updated: 07/05/12 3:59pm

Ian Wright told Soccer Extra that Arsenal must do all they can to convince Robin van Persie to prolong his stay at the Emirates.

"If you take away van Persie's goals, I dread to think where Arsenal would be."

Ian Wright

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The Dutchman has netted 30 Premier League goals this term to keep Arsenal in pole position to snare third place in the table and a spot in next year's Champions League.

However, the 28-year-old - who has been named both the players' and football writers' player of the season - is only contracted to the Londoners until 2013, and has consistently been linked with a move away from the club.

"The saving grace for Arsenal is Robin van Persie and if you take away his goals I dread to think where they would be," said the Gunners legend, who suggested Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and Man City attacker Edin Dzeko as potential summer recruits.

"It's not a one-man team and Arsenal play great stuff but without him they wouldn't be anywhere near where they are.

"They are going to have to sell the product to him, say they are going to sign some players and make Robin feel that they are going places; Champions League football is vital."

Arsenal recently announced the signing of Germany forward Lukas Podolski, who will join the Gunners from Cologne in June on a four-year deal.

The 26-year-old played a pivotal role for his nation during their route to the latter stages of both Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, but Wright is unsure whether the former Bayern Munich hitman will thrive in the Premier League.


"What worries me with Podolski is that when he left Cologne and went to Bayern it didn't work out for him under the massive glare of that club," said Wright, who notched 185 goals during his Arsenal tenure.

"He's kicked on again but we can't afford to get someone who it doesn't happen for. He's done it at the World Cup but the Premiership is a whole different ball game. But if he can get in there, step up and play regularly that will be great."

Wright, who also turned out for Crystal Palace and West Ham during his playing days, admits he has been accused by some Gunners fans on Twitter of being overly critical of the current Arsenal side.

But he countered that by saying: "I'm not having a dig; I'm just trying to put what out I believe should be happening and the calibre of players that we should be signing.

"That hasn't happened recently and the fans are becoming more disgruntled every year because they want to win things.

"I love all my clubs but Arsenal really shaped what I wanted to do as a footballer. It's a club that you can't help but love."