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Arsenal Transfer News: Why the Gunners Must Keep Robin Van Persie at All Costs

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2012

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Robin Van Persie of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on May 13, 2012 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Arsenal football has certainly hit some speed bumps over the last year, and it will be a crunching blow if they let go of Dutch sensation Robin Van Persie.

Van Persie has been the epitome of Arsenal since he began playing for them eight years ago. He stuck around through the disastrous 2010-2011 season that culminated with the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal rewarded him by naming him captain, the title formerly held by Fabregas. He took responsibility for that honorable title too, as he led Arsenal past a slow start to the 2011-2012 season and willed them to a top-four finish in the Premier League.

I guess it's worth noting that he netted 28 goals on the season, seven more than any other player in the EPL.

Van Persie told Arsenal last week that he would begin listening to other teams if both sides refuse to make any progress on a new deal. There's still one year left in his current contract, but he's made it clear that he wants more. 

Arsenal said Wednesday to Goal.com that they would not be allowing RVP to leave this summer or speak to other clubs, even if the Netherlands star wants to.

Taking away what could be Van Persie's most lethal weapon in the negotiating process could kill his loyalty to the club. I understand that he's the most valuable player and he can't be replaced, but if that's so, then I'm sure you can muster up the euros to pay this guy. 

The Premier League has been noted for its level competition, as it's unlikely to see the same player top the score sheet every year. What RVP has done in the league despite not winning the title once is outstanding.

The league is only getting harder to win, as giants Manchester City and Manchester United only seem to be getting better and forces like Tottenham and Chelsea are still making their presence known. The league isn't as winnable as it once was, and players like RVP are incredibly hard to come by. 

Van Persie showed his loyalty to Arsenal by sticking through a rough patch and not letting it affect his play. In fact, he let the situation in North London make him better, as he had a career year in 2011-12.

Now, it's time for Arsenal to reward him for doing so. Or spend years suffering the consequences. 

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