Wenger: RVP to be Gunners great

Arsenal’s record goalscorer was one of three club legends to be

honoured as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations, with

former manager Herbert Chapman and also captain Tony Adams, who led

Wenger’s men to the Double twice, each receiving a similar tribute,

which were unveiled on Friday ahead of this afternoon’s Premier

League game with Everton. Current skipper van Persie is already in

many fans’ all-time top Arsenal XI, with the red hot Dutchman

having smashed through 30 goals for 2011. Wenger feels if the

28-year-old continues to lead by example, then he too can take his

rightful place alongside Henry in Arsenal folklore. “Robin is on

the way,” the Gunners boss said. “It was the club’s choice and I

had the privilege to manage two of the players who were unveiled –

hopefully there will be some more.” Henry had paid an emotional

tribute to Arsenal and his former team-mates after being left

“speechless” when seeing the statue kneeling in celebration towards

the Emirates Stadium main stand, with Highbury in the distance. The

34-year-old – who left for Barcelona in June 2007, where the

Frenchman would go on to lift the Champions League before moving to

the Major Soccer League in the United States with New York Red

Bulls – played alongside van Persie, when the striker was then very

much a raw talent after arriving as a 21-year-old from Feyenoord in

2004. Henry feels the striker, a World Cup finalist with Holland

last summer, is showing his true class following an injury-free

spell. “I saw him come in here and at the very beginning he wasn’t

the easiest guy to deal with, like I wasn’t I guess, but it’s

amazing to see how he has improved. That tells you how intelligent

a player he is,” said Henry, who trained with Arsenal as the MLS

season closed. “I am just in admiration. What he is doing right

now, thank God he is playing for us and doing well.” Henry – who

netted 226 goals as the Gunners won two Premier League titles and

the FA Cup twice – continued: “It is nice to see a player improve,

and Robin is doing something amazing. “That also tells you how

important it is for him to not get injured. “He has never had a

chance to have a full season since he has been here – he was always

out for two or three months. “For the very first time he can go on

a roll now and you can see the difference. I can only admire what

he’s doing now.”