x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Arsene Wenger pays rich tribute to Robin van Persie

Arsenal manager believes his striker is 'world class' after the Premier League side beat West Brom 3-0 on Saturday.

LONDON // Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, labelled striker Robin van Persie "world class" after he put in another inspired performance.

The Holland international was recalled to the starting line-up against West Bromwich Albion after beginning the midweek Champions League draw with Marseille on the bench and proved the catalyst in Arsenal's 400th Premier League win.

While unable to match his hat-trick heroics at Chelsea last weekend, Van Persie proved the difference as he netted the first and then turned provider for both Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

Wenger lauded the Arsenal captain after the 3-0 victory.

Asked to compare him to Arsenal greats, Wenger said: "I don't know where he ranks. The only thing I know is that he is world class.

"When I was a kid they had in Germany a ranking of national class, international class and world class. In world class were only four or five players, or maybe even 10 players. I would put him in that calibre."

Who in the world is a better striker? Said Wenger: "There is some quality there. Of course [Lionel] Messi will win again the best player in the world, deservedly so …

"But let's not put too much pressure on Robin, let him enjoy a full season and then we can make a better assessment at the end."