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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Arsenal: Robin Van Persie's best Arsenal moments


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Have Arsenal fans seen Robin Van Persie in an Arsenal shirt for the very last time? That's the fear around the Emirates as the future of the Dutchman remains a mystery. Can Arsene Wenger convince him that his future remains at Arsenal or will he challenge for honours and treble his wages somewhere else? It is definitely going to be another one of those anxious summers for Arsenal fans.

Squarefootball writer Steve Coulter has taken a look back at RVP's career at Arsenal and reminds Arsene Wenger what they could be losing.

The son of two Dutch artists, Robin Van Persie has produced his fair share of football masterpieces. The young RVP turned his back on beautiful art to pursue a career in the beautiful game.
He made his name at Feynoord and became a target for Europe's top clubs. In 2004 Van Persie left the Rotterdam giants for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger signed the exciting prospect for £2.75 million.
 
The striker made his debut in the 2004 Charity Shield. The substitute almost made an instant impression on the score sheet. Van Persie looked set to tap home against Manchester United until team-mate Gilberto applied the decisive touch.
The blue half of Manchester couldn't deny him a few months later. Van Persie scored his first Arsenal goal against in a Carling Cup victory over Manchester City.

 
 
The 21-year-old showed glimpses of his enormous potential over the next two years, but with Thierry Henry around the young forward found it hard to make his mark. His eureka moment came in the unlikely surroundings of The Valley. In September 2006 Van Persie scored this stunning volley against Charlton Athletic.

 
 
The wonder goal helped cement Van Persie in the Gunners first team. When Henry departed for Barcelona a year later, RVP assumed the role of Arsenal's main striker. The early signs were promising as the starlet enjoyed a fruitful autumn. He scored five goals in four games before injury curtailed his season. Nevertheless Van Persie notched 11 goals during the campaign.

Back to full fitness Van Persie was in sparkling form in 2008/9. He seemed to reserve his best for the big games. In December a brace helped seal three points at Stamford Bridge. A couple of weeks later this splendid effort put Liverpool to the sword.


 

That was one of the dozen goals the Dutchman scored that season. The last two campaigns have witnessed a dramatic upturn in his scoring ratio. He amassed 24 goals in 2010/11 as Arsenal challenged on all fronts. Unfortunately silverware once again eluded the Emirates side. The Gunners' skipper was determined to end the six-year drought.
He began last season in blistering fashion. Chelsea were again left reeling when the marksman bagged a hat-trick. His third goal rounded off a thrilling 5-3 victory for Wenger's men.

 
 
Despite Arsenal's indifferent form the goals continued to flow. He netted another brace against Norwich in November, as the Gunners sealed a 2-1 win. His tally increased with a belter against Everton. Alex Song's precise delivery found his team-mate on the edge of the box. Van Persie let the ball drop over his shoulder before volleying past Tim Howard. That goal was arguably the pick of the 37 he scored last season.

Other notable highlights include a hat-trick against Blackburn and both goals in the win at Anfield. All of those marvellous strikes can be seen below.

 
 
It is little wonder that Arsenal are reluctant to part with their star man asset. His phenomenal goalscoring exploits ensured qualification for next season's Champions League. Although a notable achievement Arsenal again missed out on the major prizes. A 2005 FA Cup Winner's medal remains the highlight of RVP's Gunners' career.

The big question remains; Will the skipper be tempted elsewhere in the quest for honours? Arsenal fans will be praying that RVP stays.

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