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May 3, 2012

RVP 'very happy' with Podolski

Robin van Persie has dropped a strong hint that he will be playing at Arsenal next season by expressing his delight that Germany striker Lukas Podolski will join the club.

Van Persie is out of contract in summer 2013 and, with Manchester City and Barcelona reportedly interested in securing his signature this summer, Podolski has been described as a potential replacement for the Dutchman.

But the Gunners skipper appears enthused by the prospect of linking up with Podolski, who will join at the end of the season after a deal with Cologne was agreed this week.

"He's a really good player," Van Persie told Sky Sports. "I know that he has played over 90 games for Germany. He's an experienced player. He's been in the game at the highest level for more than eight years now. Great player, he's a winner.

"When we were playing against Cologne in pre-season you could see that he's a winner. Even if it was a friendly, he was doing absolutely everything to win. We are very happy for him to come to Arsenal."

On his own future, he insisted no matter what happens during the rest of his career he would 'always be a Gunner' as he prepares for summer talks over a new contract.

''That is still the plan. We haven't set a date but I will have a meeting with the boss like we did before now. We will be having a meeting about my future, and lots of other things, " he said.

''Arsenal is an unbelievable club. The player I am today is because of Arsenal. When I actually signed the deal (to join Arsenal) it was a dream come true.

''If you ask the likes of Robert Pires how he feels, what he feels like he will say 'I feel like a Gunner' - and whatever happens with me I will always be a Gunner.''

Meanwhile, Van Persie admitted he never thought he would be Footballer of the Year after collecting the Football Writers' Association prize at a gala dinner in London.

''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,'' Van Persie 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.''

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