Theo Walcott is convinced that Robin van Persie is the best striker in the Barclays Premier League.
Van Persie has been in excellent form this season, almost single-handedly dragging the Gunners back into the race for the Champions League by scoring 33 goals in 38 matches.
Despite playing almost every game, Van Persie has remained injury-free this term — a scenario he could have only wished for in previous years.
But the 28-year-old’s injury woes now appear to be behind him, much to Walcott’s delight. He said: “When I was on the treatment bed alongside him in previous years it was such a shame to see so much talent wasted.
“He has made up for lost time, I am sure of that.
“You just give him anything and he will put it away – left foot, right foot and he has scored a couple of headers as well.
“He makes it look easy and it’s really not.
“Wayne Rooney is still several goals behind him and has had a fantastic season as well. It just shows you how good this man is.”
Walcott has been one of the main reasons why van Persie has had such a prolific season.
Despite being the subject of boos from the home crowd earlier this year, the winger has been in excellent form recently and starred in last night’s thrilling win over Newcastle, setting up van Persie to equalise Hatem Ben Arfa’s opener before Thomas Vermaelen snatched a 95th minute winner.
The Gunners are sweating on the futures of both players as their contracts expire next summer, but Walcott insists he is not panicking about his current situation.
“I like to do my talking on the pitch and if I just keep on playing well then I will see what comes,” Walcott said.
“I like to let my agent deal with that side of things.”
One thing Walcott is sure of is that he wants van Persie to stay this summer.
“This is maybe the second year that Robin and I have had a run together in the team and hopefully, in the future I would like to play up front with him,” Walcott said.
“That would be fantastic for me but if I am setting up goals then that is the most important thing.
“If he’s enjoying what I am doing then that is great.”
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