Belfast Telegraph

Walcott hails goal-hero Van Persie

Theo Walcott is convinced that Robin van Persie is the best striker in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite playing almost every game this season, Van Persie has remained injury-free this term - a scenario he could have only wished for in previous years. The Dutchman missed the final two months of last season - a period that coincided with the club's implosion - and he spent five months of the previous campaign sidelined with an ankle problem.

But the 28-year-old's injury woes now appear to be behind him as he has struck 33 goals in 38 games this season, and Walcott 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."

He added: "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 Monday 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."


From Belfast Telegraph