Robin van Persie wins PFA Player of the Year award and is quick to thank Arsenal team-mates

view gallery VIEW GALLERY


Arsenal striker Robin van Persie was named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year in London last night.

Click here or click 'VIEW GALLERY' to launch our guide to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year

The 28-year-old Netherlands international has scored 27 Premier League goals this season –his most fruitful campaign for the club – and was humbled to be recognised by his peers. "If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it," he said. "It is very special because you are playing against them week in, week out and every single player does everything to win and in the end if they make up their minds that I'm the best player it is a big honour."

Van Persie may have picked up the top individual honour but he was quick to point out it would not have been possible without his Arsenal team-mates. "Without them I could not have achieved it," he said. "For example Theo Walcott has given me more than 12 assists."

Van Persie was utilised mainly as a second striker, and occasionally on the wing, in the early stages of his Gunners' career after being signed by manager Arsène Wenger from Feyenoord in 2004. But he has flourished since switching to the main striker role, despite initially being unconvinced he could make the move. He said: "Now I am [confident]. When I first went there I wasn't really as confident and I wasn't really sure I could do it. It took a bit of time but after a couple of months a slowly realised I could do a good job there."

The Young Player of the Year award went to Tottenham and England full-back Kyle Walker. The 21-year-old Spurs defender beat the likes of Sergio Aguero and Danny Welbeck to win the trophy and it came as quite a surprise to the former Sheffield United player. "I was a bit surprised because defenders don't normally get these awards as much as the centre-forwards," he said. "If you look at the people I was in with then it is a great honour and hopefully there is more to come. It is always an honour to be selected by the people you play against and, like I say, hopefully I can get more of these and some medals with Tottenham along the way."

Both players were also selected in the Premier League's Team of the Year. Van Persie was the only Arsenal player present, whereas Walker was one of three Spurs men, along with Scott Parker and Gareth Bale.

Former Holland captain Ruud Gullit believes Arsenal must keep hold of recently-crowned Professional Footballers Association player of the year Robin van Persie if they want to win trophies next season.

Gullit awarded his compatriot the distinguished accolade and feels the 28-year-old is essential to any plans Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has to break the Gunners' eight-year wait for silverware.

"Yes he is vital to success," Gullit told Press Association Sport.

"Arsenal need to win trophies and I think Van Persie wants to and he knows if he wants to become one of the legends of football he needs to win trophies and he will ask Arsene Wenger to strengthen the squad. The team need to give him help."

Two-time European Cup winner Gullit has been very impressed with the performances that earned Van Persie the player of the year award.

"He has been unbelievable," he said. "I think he has shown people what he is capable of both in the manner of style and grace and he is also the leader of the team and that is what impresses me even more."

Former Arsenal forward Alan Smith echoed the opinions of Gullit and believes the Gunners' skipper has done a great job in changing the way he plays.

"He is a class act and I can't see any reason why he can't score many more goals, if Arsenal can keep hold of him of course - which they really need to do," he said.

"I think if you're playing as an out-an-out striker rather than a classic number 10, which is what he is naturally, you are going to get into more goalscoring opportunities but that is the impressive thing from Robin's point of view the way he has adapted his game.

"The runs he has learned to make on the back of defenders is amazing really, he plays like an orthodox striker now."

Premier League team of the year: Joe Hart (Man City); Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Leighton Baines (Everton); David Silva (Man City), Yaya Touré (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Tottenham); Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man United).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot