By Chris Harris
Robin van Persie is good, but he's not quite as good as Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp put together!
Even Arsenal's in-form Dutchman would admit that but Arsène Wenger was forced to clarify his opinion of Van Persie when he faced the media on Tuesday after his own complimentary remarks about the striker were misinterpreted at the weekend.
Van Persie has been in great touch of late, scoring eight times in eight games while adapting to a new role as centre-forward. So it was no surprise when Wenger praised the 26-year-old following his brace against Tottenham on Saturday.
However, the story got out of hand when some reports suggested that Wenger thought Van Persie was effectively an amalgam of Henry and Bergkamp, arguably the two finest players to wear an Arsenal shirt. Wenger is a massive fan of Van Persie but he put the record straight at his pre-match press conference.
"They [the media] asked me 'what kind of player is Van Persie?'" he explained.
"I said it is difficult to say because he is a little bit a mixture of the characteristics of Thierry Henry and of Dennis Bergkamp.
"He is not purely a target player or a runner of the ball like Thierry, but he can play up front. And he is not a Bergkamp, not purely a final ball-giver like Dennis.
"Robin is a bit of both, but that is why he is Van Persie. I did not say he is Henry plus Bergkamp like some papers made it!
"They were two world-class players, and Robin is a world-class player but a different type. He is a mixture of a target man and of a supportive striker."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 3 Nov 2009