By Richard Clarke

Robin van Persie has hailed the impact of substitute Carlos Vela in Arsenal’s last three games.

Against Portsmouth, Plymouth and Bolton, Arsène Wenger has called the Mexican striker off the bench with just under 30 minutes to go and the match in the balance. Each time he has added impetus to the Arsenal attack and helped them close out crucial victories.

Having seen the 19-year-old’s recent improvement in training, Van Persie is not surprised that he is starting to make major contributions in the first-team.

“He brings pace, good technique and courage,” said the Dutchman. “I think [against Bolton] and in the last couple of weeks, he has been doing really well.

“In training, he is doing the good stuff. He creates space for us because when he is on the ball, he can pass it short, in behind the strikers. So it’s all good stuff from him now.”

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15 Jan 2009