Persie is special, says Wenger

Wenger hails striker after Arsenal's win over Sunderland; downplays Dutchman's uncertain future with club

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not worried about Robin van Persie's commitment to the cause after the Holland striker underlined his importance to the club with another match-winning performance against Sunderland yesterday.

Ecstatic: Robin van Persie celebrates his goal against Sunderland in the
EPL yesterday. Pic/AFP

Van Persie opened the scoring after 29 seconds with an 18-yard drive this afternoon before hitting a late winner for the Gunners with a wonderful curling free-kick after Sebastian Larsson had equalised for the Black Cats.

The last time he bagged two, in the 3-0 win over Bolton last month, he caused concern among Arsenal fans by insisting that he was in no hurry to extend his current contract, which expires in 2013.

That prompted fears that the club would be forced to sell the 28-year-old in the same way that they had to let Samir Nasri go to Manchester City after the midfielder refused to sign a contract extension this summer.

"The ideal situation is that he extends his contract and if he doesn't you have to respect that. What is important is he plays how he plays," Wenger said.

"We are all eager to see special football players and he is a special football player. "For me commitment is (giving your best) as long as you are at the club, not how long you are at the club.

"If you give absolutely 100 per cent until the last day of your contract, that is what I call commitment. For me it is not commitment to have a long contract.

"He knows that we are ready to talk about it (a new contract), but the most important thing is what you do on the pitch and how much you are committed to the cause as long as you are at the club."

Meanwhile, Chelsea beat Everton 3-1 to maintain their third spot in the EPL on Saturday night.

 Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1
* Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2
* West Brom 2 Wolves 0

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