Dhaka: Arsenal striker Robin van Persie admits he ‘will always feel a Gunner’ whatever the outcome of pivotal contract talks due to take place this summer.
The Netherlands international spoke after receiving the Football Writers` Player of the Year award in recognition of his fine form this term which has seen him hit 27 Premier League goals.
And he described the moment he signed for the club eight years ago using former vice-chairman David Dein`s `lucky` pen.
‘[Dennis] Bergkamp signed with it. [Thierry] Henry did. [Patrick] Vieira did’, he said. ‘My heart was running hard for Arsenal. Whatever happens with me I`ll always feel a Gunner.’
He also praised former teammates Vieira, Henry, Tony Adams and Cesc Fabregas in his acceptance speech, hailing them as ‘incredible captains’ for Arsenal.
‘It makes me very proud to be here, I have seen the list [of previous winners], and for me, I never really thought I would be sitting here winning this trophy’, he said. ‘But even this season I was not really thinking about winning a trophy for myself, I was just playing because I love it and for Arsenal to finish as high as possible in the league.
‘When I found out I had actually won it, I was a bit surprised, and was like `what me? really?` It makes me really proud to be part of that history.’
The Dutchman went on to thank the assembled journalists for their votes, saying that they know the game best as they watch every match.
‘The writers know everything about the season because they have seen every single game, analyzed every goal, every move, they know everything about you’, he added. ‘They are doing interviews with me and other players, they get a clear picture of who is the best player, which is why it means so much that these guys have voted for me.’The striker`s future is currently uncertain, with his contract set to expire in 2013 and Manchester City reportedly ready to make a summer move.
And the 28-year-old admitted that no talks have yet been scheduled with the Gunners hierarchy regarding an extension.
‘We still have to set a date after the end of the season for meeting with [Ivan] Gazidis and the boss [Arsene Wenger]’, he concluded. ‘Arsenal are an unbelievable club and the player I am today is because of Arsenal.’
BDST: 1515 HRS, May 4, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor
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