Cesc FÃ bregas: Arsenal can’t afford to lose Robin van Persie
Former Arsenal captain Cesc FÃ bregas believes his old club must hold on to "role model" Robin van Persie
Cesc FÃ bregas has warned Arsenal that they cannot afford to lose captain Robin van Persie.
FÃ bregas, 24, made his long-awaited return to Barcelona in August, completing a £29m move from The Emirates.
And Van Persie, who has 18 months remaining on his contract and appears in no hurry to sign a new deal, has been tipped as the next possible big-name departure from the club.
“I don’t know if they will keep him. It is his decision,” said FÃ bregas. “At his age, if he wants to move it will be his last chance and if he wants to stay he will stay and retire at Arsenal.
“We will see what he decides but he’s been very loyal to Arsenal for a few years. He is a key player, the fans love him.
“He is the role model of Arsenal, the star player and they cannot afford to lose him.
“He is having an amazing season. Hopefully he will be fit for the whole season. Unfortunately when I was there, he never enjoyed a whole season without injury.”
FÃ bregas insists he is happy at the Nou Camp and the Spain international feels he has proven the doubters who felt he would not be able to break into the Barcelona first team wrong.
“Some people thought I wouldn’t get in the team [at Barcelona],” he continued. “Maybe they didn’t believe in me too much.”
And the midfielder also expressed his delight at Arsenal’s recovery following their poor start to the season.
“I speak to the boys at Arsenal,” he added. “Arsenal gave me everything and I will never forget that. It will always be a special club. The fans have always been amazing to me. I only have amazing words to say about them.
“It was a shame they started so badly but now they are back to winning ways and doing well.”