RVP benefits as Arsenal leader
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in no doubt over importance of Robin Van Persie
Arsene Wenger believes Robin Van Persie has finally put to bed any suggestions that he is not an out-and-out striker.
The Dutch international is enjoying a sensational run of form, with his hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Chelsea taking Van Persie's personal tally to 28 goals in just 27 games.
Handed the captain's armband following Cesc Fabregas' exit from the Emirates during the summer transfer window, Wenger also thinks the additional responsibility has had an impact on the player's performances.
"His movement is exceptional and his confidence is so high that he takes advantages of all situations. I believe that the captaincy has helped too," Wenger told the Arsenal website following the win in west London.
"Robin has scored 28 in 27 games and still people tell me he is not a centre forward. How many goals does a centre forward have to score?
"We are a team that goes forward a lot and players spend a lot of time in the final third."
Theo Walcott was also quick to pay tribute to the inspirational skipper, who has recently been linked with a move away from the Gunners in the summer.
Both players have contracts running until 2013, but Walcott knows for sure that with Van Persie in the team, Arsenal are a different animal.
"It [his scoring record] just shows how important he is to this team. He's had so many injuries and it shows that when we have a fit Robin throughout the season we are a totally different team," Walcott told Arsenal Player.
"It's not a one-man show but Robin gives us that extra dimension, one that we never quite had before. We're happy and hopefully he'll stay fit and keep banging in the goals."