By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger may unveil a new signing against Middlesbrough on Saturday - a Dutch striker called Robin van Persie.

Ok, the 24-year-old is a familiar and welcome face at Arsenal having hit 41 goals in 125 appearances since arriving from Feyenoord almost four years ago. But, if he starts this weekend after his substitute appearance at Wigan last Sunday, even his manager believes it will feel like a fresh acquisition after a season beset by injury problems.

"He is [like a new signing]," said Wenger. "He has only played the first eight games and scored five goals. At the time you thought that could make for an interesting total towards the end of the season. Now I feel he can give us the last push. He can give the final ball, take free kicks, he's dangerous on corners and, of course, he can score.

"We lost Eduardo recently, so the pressure was on Adebayor.  But with Robin back and Theo Walcott aswell we now have three or four who can score and that's very important."

Despite the absence of Van Persie and latterly Eduardo, Arsenal have hardly struggled in front of goal. Their tally of 57 in the Premier League is one behind top-scorers Manchester United.

"Yes Adebayor has got 19 and we did not count for that at the start of the season," said Wenger. "But I was hopeful about him. However Hleb has got a few so has Eduardo and Fabregas. Rosicky got some as well, that is why I want him back from injury too. And Walcott is starting to score as well so that is all good for us."

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Richard Clarke 14 Mar 2008