David Dein tells Arsenal to sort out Robin van Persie contract

Arsenal must tie down RVP to new deal, says former vice-chairman Dein

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 23 April 2012

David Dein has urged Arsenal to secure a new contract for club captain and PFA Player of the Year Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman has scored 27 goals for the Gunners this season and has becoming an increasingly integral part of Arsene Wenger's side, especially since the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer.

Player of the Year: Van Persie (centre) with his award

Player of the Year: Van Persie (centre) with his award

Van Persie's contract expires at the end of next season and the club risk losing for him for free if a new deal is not agreed soon.

Dein, who was the club's vice-chairman when Van Persie was signed in 2004, told Sky Sports News: 'He is very important to the club and it is not every day you can get a guy who can score over 30 goals in a season.'

'There was a lot of competition at the time and we are very fortunate he signed for us. I was delighted and he has proved the point because he has been such a prolific goalscorer for the club.

Prolific: The Dutchman has scored 27 goals this season

Prolific: The Dutchman has scored 27 goals this season

'He plays with passion, he plays with his heart and, as you heard in his speech, he is a very modest guy.

'He has done a great job for the club and the fact that he has stayed with the club all this time, when he has had plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere, says a lot about Robin’s character.'