Vieira warns Arsenal to keep Van Persie at all costs or risk further high profile departures
22:00 GMT, 17 May 2012
Patrick Vieira cannot believe Arsenal are at risk of losing Robin van Persie by letting his contract roll into its final year.
And he fears if they do not keep hold of him the club could continue to lose their star players in future seasons.
If Van Persie leaves the club it will be the second summer in a row they have lost their top players after Barcelona signed Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri moved to Manchester City in the break last year.
And their former captain, the last player to lift a cup for the Gunners in 2005, believes the likes of Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere could follow if Arsene Wenger does not stabilise the club.
Positive message: Patrick Vieira says Arsenal must hold on to Robin van Persie
The Frenchman said: ‘It's really difficult to find players of the quality of Robin van Persie with one year left all around the world.
‘I think losing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas last year was a big shock for Arsenal. For the fans, for the people who love Arsenal.
‘I think if they lose Robin van Persie this year it will be a drama. With Samir and Cesc you can say “OK, those two are gone but behind you know that there is Wilshere and Van Persie still at the club”.
‘But if Robin leaves that means next year it may be Theo Walcott, next year's going to be Wilshere, it's going to be difficult for Arsenal to keep the top players.
Old pals: Vieira (second left) and Van Persie (right) in action for Arsenal in 2004
‘On the other side if they keep Robin they're going to send a positive message to all the clubs and to all the people around and I think it's really important to keep him.’
According to Vieira the only way Arsenal can get him to stay is to convince him they can end their seven-year trophy drought.
The 35-year-old added: ‘Robin wants to win trophies. He wants to win. Arsenal have to show him he can do it with Arsenal. The best way for them to get him to sign a contract is to bring players to the club who can show him that the club are in the same line as him.
‘It's really important because we know how Robin loves Arsenal that's not the question, the question is how Arsene Wenger will convince Robin they can win trophies.’