Wenger: Van Persie can be better than Bergkamp

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Dutch forward Robin van Persie has the potential to be a better player than Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp.

The 25-year-old support striker - who can also operate out wide - has been compared to his mercurial fellow countryman ever since he burst on to the scene at Feyenoord in 2001.

And having made more than 100 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 37 Premier League goals, since arriving at Highbury in May 2004, his current boss feels Van Persie can develop into a more effective all round performer than former Ajax and Inter Milan attacker Bergkamp.

"Van Persie is Dennis Bergkamp, with goals," Wenger told the Daily Star. "You look at his scoring record and it is better than Dennis's.

"When Robin came here it was a big move for him, but we gave him a role model in Dennis and now he has really grown into that role. Robin will tell you Dennis was a big influence on him because he respected him and listened to his advice.

"Dennis was 34, the right age to want to help. Robin's always had the vision and the talent, but what really stands out for me is how he's developed into a team player. It's a remarkable transformation. And the fact he is 25, you know he's going to get better. His best years are in front of him."

ARSENAL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read:
Web Exclusives
Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas
Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas
One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright
Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore
Perfect XI Ian Wright
What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello
And Another Thing
Being a Big Four fan

Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter