One to Watch - Robin van Persie
Name Robin van Persie
Date of Birth 6/8/1983
Former Clubs Feyenoord
League Appearances (Goals) 235 (96)
International Appearances (Goals) 62 (25)
Stat of the Day Robin Van Persie has scored or assisted 43 Premier League goals for Arsenal in 2011
I`ve just bought the Robin van Persie tea tray - guaranteed to carry ten mugs. OK harsh joke over, but in all seriousness, Arsenal have only managed to muster up one win in the eight times van Persie has failed to score this season - an alarmingly disappointing number considering the North London club`s pre-season title ambitions. There`s no denying the Dutchman has been nothing short of world-class this campaign, but with rumours escalating he will be rested on Saturday, QPR will be pretty pleased if the team sheet is handed in without the striker`s name on it. Probably the second best player in the Premier League at the moment, van Persie is already just two goals short of his best goalscoring season for Arsenal and is singlehandedly keeping a fledgling Arsenal side in and around the much desired Champions League places.
'RVP` always seems to score. Despite having to endure several seasons marred by recurring injuries, the Dutchman already has 82 league goals to his name and having finally added some sort of consistency to his game, this number will only continue to increase. Along with the typical striker`s tap-ins and calm finishes, van Persie often whips out a wonder goal - vs Charlton in the 2006/2007 season probably his best. The media have been hollering at the fact RVP only needs two more goals to equal Alan Shearer`s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year - be afraid, be very afraid.
Robin van Persie signed for Dutch side Feyenoord in 2001, making his first team debut at the age of just 17. He received the KNVB Best Young Talent award at the end of the 2001/2002 season and signed his first professional three-and-a-half year contract with Feyenoord in the following season, scoring five goals in a 6-1 Amstel Cup thrashing of AGOVV on 6 February 2003. Frequent altercations with manager Bert van Marwijk let to limited appearances and few clubs were interested in taking the hot prospect due to van Persie`s apparent disciplinary issues.
Wenger decided to take a risk with the striker, planning on converting him from a left winger to a centre forward à la Thierry Henry. van Persie signed for Arsenal in May 2004 for a bargain fee of £2.75 million and in his first season was largely limited to substitute appearances. The following season van Persie revelled in a more central role and soon became a crowd favourite at Highbury. Injuries hindered the Dutchman`s development for the next few seasons, but when the striker played he always put in special performances. Last season van Persie was given the coveted number 10 shirt, previously worn by Dennis Bergkamp, and the frontman has put in performances to match his predecessor`s legendary status. The Arsenal favourite already has 82 league goals in 174 league appearances and providing he doesn`t get itchy feet, he will continue to score prolifically for The Gunners.