Cesc Fabregas has urged Arsenal to do all they can to ensure Robin van Persie remains with the club beyond his current contract.
The Dutch striker has 18 months remaining on his deal and the Gunners are desperate to avoid a repeat of Fabregas' and Samir Nasri's departures in the summer.
Van Persie has, so far, given encouraging signals about his intention to remain at the Emirates Stadium, but chairman Peter Hill-Wood says talks have yet to begin.
And Fabregas, who left for Barcelona in August, hopes his the free-scoring forward continues to star in north London.
"We will see what he decides but he's been very loyal to Arsenal for a few years," said the former Arsenal captain. "He is a key player, the fans love him.
"He is the role model of Arsenal, the star player and they cannot afford to lose him.
"He is having an amazing season. Hopefully he will be fit for the whole season.
"Unfortunately when I was there, he never enjoyed a whole season without injury."