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
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice