Gervinho wants van Persie Arsenal stay

Gervinho has pleaded with Arsenal captain Robin van Persie to stay at the Emirates Stadium and fire the side into title contention, The Mirror reports.

The Ivorian is away on African Cup of Nations duty and has formed a dynamic partnership up front for the Gunners with Van Persie and Theo Walcott. Van Persie only has 18 months left on his contract and has said that he will discuss a new deal in the summer, but Gervinho is trying to commit the Arsenal captain sooner. The former Lille star said that Van Persie is the club’s leader and inspiration and a ‘dream’ to play with also.

Gervinho said: ‘I don’t want the sale of Robin van Persie. Arsenal is a team that needs great footballers and leaders on the field. Robin is a player who pushes comparisons to work harder and give more effort during matches. He is a dream to play with. Van Persie is the captain and the boss in the group, without doubt, I saw that from my first day at the club.’

Arsenal are without the fleet-footed Ivorian until mid-February and Gervinho has apologised to the Gunners for leaving them this month, but admits he cannot turn his back on his homeland. Gervinho has seen Thierry Henry return to Arsenal, but knows that when he comes back from the ACN, he will be pushing for his first-team place back in the side.

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