Former England striker Woodcock tells van Persie to stay at Arsenal

Tony Woodcock, the former Arsenal and England striker, has told the BBC Robin van Persie’s future would be best served by staying with the Gunners, adding that Arsene Wenger’s side are in good shape to challenge for trophies.

Woodcock played for Arsenal in the 1980s and had a spell in Germany, where he resides to this day, as well as scoring 16 goals in 42 games for England. Now 56, Woodcock said to the BBC that with van Persie likely set for life financially, he can consider only football matters.

He added: “With somebody like Robin, it cannot be a financial thing at this stage in his career. Players want to win things and he is not far from winning things [at Arsenal]. He has to balance that up.

Woodcock joined Arsenal from German side FC Koln in 1982, having previously spent three years in Germany and six before that at Nottingham Forest, where he was part of the 1978 title winning squad. During his time at Highbury Woodcock scored 56 goals in 131 appearances before returning to Koln in 1986. From there Woodcock joined the second team in Koln, Fortuna Koln, before retiring in 1990.

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