Van Persie is world class, says Walcott

 

Theo Walcott thinks Robin van Persie should be regarded as one of the best strikers in the world after his recent goalscoring exploits.

Van Persie took his calendar year goal tally to an amazing 31 league goals in 29 games this weekend with a brace that helped Arsenal see off Norwich at Carrow Road.

The win was the Gunners' fifth on the bounce and puts Arsene Wenger's side level with fourth-placed Chelsea - an achievement that seemed highly unlikely after the north London club's woeful start to the season.

Van Persie's ability to stay clear of injury has enabled the Dutchman to fire in 13 of the club's 25 league goals this season - a run which has put the striker at the top of the Barclays Premier League scoring charts.

Walcott, who has been deployed along with Van Persie and new boy Gervinho in a three-pronged attack this season, has enjoyed playing alongside the Holland striker and now believes there are few better marksmen on the planet than the 28-year-old Gunners captain.

"Robin is one of the best strikers in the world right now and a great leader too," Walcott told Arsenal's website.

"We just love playing together.

"Over the past few years I have had my injuries and he has had his so we have not been able to sustain a run of games together, but this year you can see signs that we just know where each other is going to be on the pitch.

"It makes it is easier for both of us."

With games against Fulham, Wigan and Everton coming up, Arsenal now have a good opportunity to keep up the pressure on their rivals before a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face leaders Manchester City on December 18.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey hopes Van Persie can maintain his form and help push Arsenal back up the table.

"Robin is in unbelievable form at the moment. He is putting them all away," Ramsey said.

"Full credit to the team, we are supplying him and he is finishing them. We are delighted with the way we are playing and hopefully we can continue that.

"We are on a good run and we have to go into every game now believing we can win, progress and hope that other teams might drop some points.

"Hopefully then we can close the gap."

Earlier this season, manager Arsene Wenger faced the most fierce criticism of his 15-year reign at the club thanks to a dreadful start which saw them lose three of their opening five league games - one of which was an 8-2 mauling at Manchester United.

The Frenchman came under fire for losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, and also faced criticism for not replacing them with marquee signings.

Ramsey feels the critics were too quick to write off Arsenal's chances, however, and now believes new additions such as Gervinho, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta have settled nicely in to the Gunners' style of play.

"We are getting a better understanding of each other in this team now and we are gelling together," the Wales captain said.

"There has been a lot of change here so it was natural to take time for people to bond and gel. In the last month we have definitely been doing that and hopefully now the team can continue its form."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent