Arsenal confirm Robin van Persie is back in the squad for crucial north London derby

13 April 2010 07:35
Arsene Wenger has revealed that star Dutch striker Robin van Persie will be in the squad for the Gunners' midweek trip to north London rivals Tottenham.

Van Persie has been out of action since November when he ruptured ankle ligaments on international duty.

He had originally hoped to return six weeks after undergoing the controversial horse-placenta treatment. That, however, was a false dawn and only now is the striker ready to for action.

Gunning for glory: Robin van Persie is set for a return after five months out

He returned to full training last week and was expected to be available for the club's final three matches against Manchester City, Blackburn and Fulham.

But the Dutchman is anxious to be involved in as much of Arsenal's title run-in as he can, despite the potential risk.

'There is always a gamble in this kind of decision,' said Wenger. 'But in Van Persie's case we have been a bit more cautious because he has had more time for preparation.

Wenger knows all too well the risk of rushing one of his players back. Helost William Gallas for the season when he came back too soon in theChampions League first leg against Barcelona.

'The biggest gamble I took recently was with Gallas,' the Frenchman added. 'Itdidn't work, but he came back from a muscular problem, that is not thecase for Robin. It was a joint problem.

'When I pick a player it means he is fit and sharp and has workedvery hard. Of course he lacks match-practice but physically he isready, he is fit.'

Stricken: Van Persie ruptured ankle ligaments playing for Holland against Italy

Wenger believes Arsenal's title challenge would be several points better off but for Van Persie's injury.

Arsenal averaged more than three goals a game prior to Van Persie'sinjury and seemed on course to shatter the 100-goal mark for theseason.

Since then, though, the club have been considerably less fluid in attack scoring just over 1.5 goals per game.

'He is a very important player for this club,' the Frenchman added. 'He isimportant for the confidence. He can make the final ball, he is good onset-pieces, he can score goals, so we are very happy to have him back.The sadness was that we  lost him so early in the season.'

Van Persie's return is a massive boost to Arsenal'stitle challenge as they face up to the last five games without Gallas, CescFabregas and Andrey Arshavin, while Alex Song has question marks over his fitness as well.

 Lennon blow adds to woe for Spurs fans as Van Persie nears comebackWenger may take risk on Van Persie in Arsenal's derby with Tottenham PICTURE SPECIAL: Rooney, Gerrard and 40 other top stars draw for charity Arsenal star Van Persie closing in on shock return in north London derby ARSENAL FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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