Van Persie warning for Arsenal as he wins PFA players' award
Gunners told they must keep hold of Dutch striker if they want to win trophies
IT'S OFFICIAL. Robin Van Persie is the player of the year after winning the Professional Footballers Association award, and the striker was crowned at a ceremony in London on Sunday.
However, amid the celebrations there was a stark warning for the Gunners that they cannot afford to let the Dutch striker leave the Emirates.
Dutch legend Ruud Gullit was on hand to present the award to his compatriot and afterwards heaped praise on the 28-year-old who has scored 34 goals for Arsenal this season. Gullit said Van Persie was "vital to success" at Arsenal, who have not picked up any silverware since their FA Cup triumph in 2005.
"Arsenal need to win trophies and I think Van Persie wants to and he knows if he wants to become one of the legends of football he needs to win trophies and he will ask Arsene Wenger to strengthen the squad," said Gullit. "The team need to give him help."
Former Arsenal skipper Alan Smith seconded that emotion when he said that the Gunners "really need to" hold on to the Dutchman. "He is a class act and I can't see any reason why he can't score many more goals," enthused Smith, before adding the caveat: "If Arsenal can keep hold of him of course."
But despite Gullit's suggestion that Van Persie needs more support from the rest of the team, the player went out of his way to thank his Arsenal colleagues. He even picked out Arsenal's perennial enigma and Emirates whipping boy, Theo Walcott, for praise. "He has given me more than 12 assists and I do really appreciate that," said Van Persie.
The striker added that winning an award that is voted for by other players was special. "If they make up their minds that I'm the best player it is a big honour."
Manchester City midfielder David Silva came in second and United striker Wayne Rooney was third. The PFA young player of the year award went to Spurs and England defender Kyle Walker.