ASSET: Oxlade-Chamberlain begs striker to stay
LONDON: ARSENAL'S Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says the club will struggle to replace the goals if Robin van Persie leaves this summer.
But not only that, the young Gunner says the Dutchman plays a key role in team bonding and keeping the squad together.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "It's clear how important he has been for us with the goals he's scored, he is one of the best strikers in the world.
"He's a massive part of the dressing room, helping all of us and speaking to the manager about what we're feeling, what we want and what we can do better.
"He even does the little things like arranging get-togethers with players' wives and barbecues and fun days and golf days."
Van Persie, who has been linked to a number of top clubs including champions Manchester City, has one season left on his current deal and has started talks with boss Arsene Wenger over a new contract.
The striker has also passed on plenty of valuable advice to 'The Ox', who could make his England debut in today's friendly against Norway.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18, added: "He told me that when he first came to Arsenal it was quite similar to me how the boss dipped him in and dipped him out.
"He would score a goal then wouldn't play the next game or he might score two and he wouldn't get on in the next game or would play five minutes.
"He told me to keep working hard and bide my time and keep plugging away and my time will come.
"Before games he tells me to do this or that or go here on a corner. He's a big leader.
"It will be good if he stays, definitely. I don't know if he will but I hope he does." Daily Mail