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Wenger: Van Persie can be legend

10 Dec 2011 07:16:52

Wenger: Van Persie can be legend

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal captain Robin van Persie could one day be immortalised like Gunners legend Thierry Henry with a bronze statue outside the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's record goalscorer was one of three club legends to be honoured as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations, with former manager Herbert Chapman and also captain Tony Adams, who led Wenger's men to the Double twice, each receiving a similar tribute, which were unveiled on Friday.

Van Persie has smashed through 30 goals for 2011 and Wenger said: "Robin is on the way. It was the club's choice and I had the privilege to manage two of the players who were unveiled - hopefully there will be some more."

Henry had paid an emotional tribute to Arsenal and his former team-mates after being left "speechless" when seeing the statue kneeling in celebration towards the Emirates Stadium main stand, with Highbury in the distance.

The 34-year-old - who left for Barcelona in June 2007, where the Frenchman would go on to lift the Champions League before moving to the Major Soccer League in the United States with New York Red Bulls - played alongside van Persie, when the striker was then very much a raw talent after arriving as a 21-year-old from Feyenoord in 2004.

Henry feels the striker, a World Cup finalist with Holland last summer, is showing his true class following an injury-free spell.

"I saw him come in here and at the very beginning he wasn't the easiest guy to deal with, like I wasn't I guess, but it's amazing to see how he has improved. That tells you how intelligent a player he is," said Henry, who trained with Arsenal as the MLS season closed.

"I am just in admiration. What he is doing right now, thank God he is playing for us and doing well."

Henry - who netted 226 goals as the Gunners won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice - continued: "It is nice to see a player improve, and Robin is doing something amazing.

"That also tells you how important it is for him to not get injured. He has never had a chance to have a full season since he has been here - he was always out for two or three months. For the very first time he can go on a roll now and you can see the difference. I can only admire what he's doing now."


PA

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