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
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone