By Nick Ames

Robin van Persie has sung the praises of team-mate Tomas Rosicky ahead of tonight’s game with AC Milan - and hopes the Czech schemer will shrug off a knock to take his place in the Gunners’ side.

The midfielder scored his first goal of the season in the 5-2 win over Spurs and Van Persie says that, even if Rosicky's contribution doesn't always make the headlines, his contribution is greatly appreciated by those around him.

“He rarely scores, but [his goal against Spurs] was so important,” recalled the captain in tonight’s Official Matchday Programme. “He started the move himself and then finished it really well.

“Tomas is a hugely important member of this team - he has been playing so well this season and you can see that he’s going from strength to strength.”

Rosicky’s ability on the ball and eye for a pass are matched by few at the top level - and Van Persie believes that his astuteness just cannot be taught.

“I just love playing with him because he’s so quick in his mind, so clever in the way he sees passes and so adept at completing them,” he said.

“He’s just football-clever, and that’s something you can’t pick up later in your career. You either have it or you don’t.”

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6 Mar 2012