Robin van Persie reveals he 'wasn't even convinced' by main striker role at Arsenal

 

Robin van Persie has admitted he was far from confident he could play as a main striker, but now believes he can become even more lethal in front of goal.

Arsenal captain Van Persie has developed into one of the most feared centre-forwards in the world, and looks set to breach the 40-goal barrier for club and country this season.

The Holland star, 28, only began spearheading the Gunners attack almost three years ago after manager Arsene Wenger sold Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.

Before then, Van Persie played almost exclusively as a second striker, the kind of role fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp made his own at the club.

"That was the idea from day one," Van Persie told Arsenal Player.

"I never really thought that I would end up as a main striker.

"I actually never played there before - I did it a couple of times at youth level but it was nothing really special.

"We only tried it when Adebayor went.

"The boss didn't buy someone else because he was convinced I could do it.

"I wasn't even convinced about it. I wasn't so sure, because I didn't really play there so much.

"Then, in pre-season, we had a game against Inter Milan. I scored a good goal, played well and he told me after the game, 'You see? It will work'.

"That was the first step to being a main striker.

"Sometimes, you just question yourself, if you're good enough at it. Those answers came.

"I have been for a while now convinced that I actually can play as a main striker. I just didn't know, and now I believe.

"Let's see where it ends. Let's see how far I can push myself, see where my maximum lies."

Van Persie's exploits have made him the heavy favourite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday.

They have also made him one of the most coveted strikers in the world, with City, Barcelona and Real Madrid all linked with him.

Van Persie has only one year left on his Arsenal contract and has declared he will not make a decision about his long-term future until the end of the season.

Gunners fans will understandably be concerned at his presence at Barcelona's team hotel last night ahead of the Catalans' Champions League clash with Chelsea.

He was spotted talking to international team-mate Ibrahim Afellay and may also have been catching up with former Gunners team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

Van Persie extending his Arsenal contract may depend on how ambitious they are in the transfer market this summer, with the impending arrival of Germany star Lukas Podolski certainly a step in the right direction.

Wenger will be hoping Podolski settles as quickly as summer signing Andre Santos.

Brazilian left-back Santos has revealed how fellow new boy Mikel Arteta has done all he can to help him fit in.

"Mikel Arteta is Spanish and our languages are quite similar so he is helping me the most," Santos said.

"He is always giving me instructions about the Premier League. He played for Everton for a long time and arrived at Arsenal at the same time as I did so he helped me settle.

"We're always messing around in the changing room, on the pitch during the warm up.

"He's always saying something to make me laugh or calling me nicknames but it's always good-spirited, with no harm.

"We work together every day and need these moments of distraction.

"Us players always go out for dinner and social events together.

"I'm always doing something with Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Robin van Persie, Mikel, Yossi Benayoun, Ignasi Miquel and others.

"This link between us off the pitch is very strong and it benefits the team on the pitch."

PA

Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game