'I'm proud of Robin van Persie and will do everything to keep him' - Wenger hoping striker will stay at Arsenal

The Gunners captain scored twice on Saturday to inspire his side to a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield, underlining his importance to the club
By Greg Stobart at Anfield

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists the club will do “everything possible” to keep Robin van Persie and says he is “very proud” of the Dutchman.

The Dutchman struck a sensational double on Saturday to take his tally to the season to 31 in all competitions as the Gunners came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield.

The Arsenal captain is out of contract in 2013 and has delayed any talks over a new deal until the summer amid speculation over a move away from Emirates Stadium.

“I must say we will do everything possible to keep him,” Wenger said after the game. “I can't say much more because I have said that many times.

“I'm very proud having seen the boy arrive here timid and to see now what he has become. He plays under big pressure in every game because he knows he has to score.

“For me, he is up there with the best players in the world.”

The result extended Arsenal's unbeaten run in the league to five matches, closing the gap on third-placed Tottenham to four points ahead of Manchester United's visit to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Van Persie's winner, a magical volley in added time, came against the run of play after Liverpool dominated much of the game.

In the first-half alone, Kenny Dalglish's side twice hit the post while Dirk Kuyt saw his penalty saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

“It was vital for us to win today,” Wenger added. “I have always said the target for us this season is top four. Let's go step by step and see what happens. The game can change very quickly.

“I will watch the game tomorrow. Mathematically our interest is that Tottenham drop points but if they deserve to win, they deserve to win.

“Liverpool had a very good first-half and we were not in the game. It was flattering for us to be in the game at half-time. I felt Liverpool played a pace above us in the first-half.

“We know van Persie can deliver something special. Overall, it was not one of our best games but we refused to give in.”

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