By Chris Harris

Gervinho wants his on-field relationship with Robin van Persie to be a long-term one.

The Ivory Coast international arrived at Emirates Stadium in the summer but has already struck up a strong understanding with his captain. Gervinho set up a vital Champions League goal for Van Persie at Udinese and provided two more assists for the Dutchman against Stoke on Sunday.

Van Persie's future has been the subject of speculation but Gervinho wants him to stay as long as possible.

"We always need our best players so a player like Robin, frankly, we need him to stay longer at the Club," he said. "It would give me pleasure if he stayed because I’ve just arrived and I would like him to stay so I can play with him a while longer."

"He’s formidable and the team needs him. You always have to have leaders in the group and he’s one of the players who drags the team forward. He’s the captain and his role is to galvanise the group and he assumes the responsibility

"He is good for us psychologically. He’s among the most experienced players on the pitch and when he enters the game he puts the opposition’s defence under pressure and that helps our game."

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24 Oct 2011