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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Wenger: RVP now more likely to stay

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger feels his chances of keeping skipper Robin van Persie have been boosted by the club's third-place finish, which guarantees Champions League football next season.

The Gunners came from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 at The Hawthorns on Sunday, ensuring they finished above great rivals Tottenham, who must now hope Chelsea do not win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich later this month.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will hope they can keep hold of Van Persie, the Premier League's top scorer whose contract runs out in summer 2013 - a state of affairs which has led to him being linked with a move away from the Emirates over the next few months, possibly to champions Manchester City.

Asked how Champions League qualification will affect Arsenal, Wenger replied: "It is easier to attract players and to keep them."

Reflecting on the season as a whole, which began in terrible fashion for the Gunners as they lost a handful of games early on, Wenger said: "I don't know [if it is one of my best seasons], I leave that to you. I am very proud of this season because we were not only tested on the football front - which as a club we are used to - but on our mental solidity, unity and solidarity within.

"We were deeply tested, we did not show any weakness, kept united and in the end came back. It is a good lesson for everybody. At some stages everybody was wondering what we were doing."

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