Ramsey: To be title contenders, Arsenal must keep Van Persie

The Welsh midfielder has warned that the Gunners cannot let their Dutch goalscorer and captain leave if they want to compete to be crowned Premier League champions next season

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey believes that the club's chances of winning the title next season depend on ensuring that Robin van Persie is not sold in the summer.

The Premier League Golden Boot winner only has one year remaining on his contract with the Gunners, and discussions regarding a new £130,000-a-week deal have reportedly hit a brick wall.

Some of Europe’s top sides, including Manchester City and Barcelona, are said to be very interested in luring the Dutchman away from the Emirates Stadium, and have the finances available to meet Van Persie’s wage demands.

Ramsey told The Sun on Sunday: “It’s important we keep Robin if we seriously want to be title contenders.

“He has proven this season what his value is to the team with the goals he has scored. It’s important to keep those sort of players at the club.

“He was our top goalscorer, won the Golden Boot and the Player of the Year awards, so any team would want to keep him. Arsenal are no different.

“He hasn’t given any of the other lads any indications on what he is going to do. Nothing has been said. But, hopefully, he will stay.”

The Wales captain also revealed that the domestic campaign just ended had been the most demanding of his short career so far, following his recovery from a double fracture of his lower right leg - an injury sustained at Stoke City in February 2010.

Ramsey explained: “To ask me to play to a high standard week in, week out, in the Premier League when you think of the pace that goes with it, was very physically demanding.

“People do forget how long I was out of the game and what happened. It’s been my first full season. Overall, I am happy with the way things have gone.

“From where I was with the injury I think I’ve done pretty well. It was a long season and it was something my body has not been used to. It was quite obvious I would get tired towards the end.

“Before I joined Arsenal, I only played for Cardiff in the second half of the season, made the move to London and had a year to settle in.

“Then I started the first half of the following season at Arsenal, got injured and was out for a year.

“Although, I’ve been pretty pleased, there is still a lot more to come. I know that. But this season has been a good stepping stone for me.”