Arsenal Boss Arsene Wenger: Robin van Persie Reminds Me Of Marco van Basten

The current Gunners forward resembles the Dutch master, according to his famously short-sighted coach…
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has compared Robin van Persie with Dutch striking legend Marco van Basten.

"I think he's a Van Basten type. By which I mean he's a technical centre-forward. He has that classy first touch, sharp movement and a short back-lift," Wenger told the Gunners' official website.

"I always thought he was more a first striker than second striker and I must say I love him there because he has a brain. He can play others in and he can score. His movement is intelligent around the box and if we score a lot of goals, a big part is down to him.

"Look at the one he scored [against Birmingham on Saturday]. You can say it was a bit lucky but you need a specialist soft touch to control the ball in that situation. With a normal player, the ball goes five yards away but with his second touch he puts it straight back on his left leg and scores."

Meanwhile, Wenger has ressured Theo Walcott that he will be fit enough to go to the World Cup in South Africa next summer.

A back injury has limited the 20-year-old to just 54 minutes of competitive action this season, and he faces another month or so on the sidelines after damaging knee ligaments following a heavy tackle by Liam Ridgewell in the game against Birmingham.

"I believe Theo is worried about the World Cup certainly, but I don't think there’s any reason to worry now," Wenger said.

"He will be in the [England] squad. He will be fit. It's October and he has an injury of two to three weeks. I say four to be covered.

"I don't think he is fragile, not really. I have not completely made my mind up. 

"He's had two shoulder surgeries that were a genetical weakness, from the family. From the rest, I don't believe he is injury prone.

"Don't forget usually it is the striker who gets hit and the defender who hits. Most of the time the strikers are more injury prone because of the way the game is played. The quicker they are the more they get kicked and at a higher pace.

"I wouldn't say that he is injury prone [based] on that incident [with Ridgewell]. He is the type of player who controls the ball on the first touch. That's the biggest problem for the strikers, when they are injured will they continue to play like they did?

"I don't want to believe that [he is singled out for treatment]. But of course I know how the game is in England. Eduardo got hit and injured on the first tackle."

Zack Wilson, Goal.com UK