Van Persie is irreplaceable to Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain admits

Arsenal will never be able to replace Robin van Persie, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has warned, as doubts over the future of the Gunners captain persist, the Daily Mail has reported.

Van Persie’s contract expires next summer and while talks have taken place between the player and the club over extending his deal, no new contract has been announced with potential suitors including Manchester City and Real Madrid ready to exploit any stalemate.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined Arsenal from Southampton a year ago and has been included in the England squad for Euro 2012, believes losing van Persie would be a blow from which the club would struggle to recover. He said: “It’s clear how important he’s been for us with the goals he’s scored, he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He’s a massive part of the dressing room. I don’t know [if he will stay] but I hope he does.

Van Persie made 48 appearances for Arsenal in the season just ended, the most he has ever featured in one campaign for the Gunners and responded with his best goal return yet, netting 37 times. His previous best figures for appearances and goals were 44 games played, 20 goals scored in 2008-09.

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