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Wenger: Van Persie is the best striker in the League

Arsene Wenger has claimed Robin Van Persie is the deadliest striker in the Premier League and that he would not swap him for anyone else in world football.

• Arsenal's time is now - RVP

Van Persie has hit eight goals this season and Arsenal boss Wenger maintains that his strikeforce is even better now than the forward line-up from the Invincibles season of 2003-04.

"For me Robin is the best striker in the league at the moment, because he is a great link player, and that's what I like first," Wenger told the Daily Mirror. "We play a collective game so it's very important that the target man in our team links well with our other players.

"I wouldn't swap him for anyone. He knows how we play, we play together for four or five years now with all the team and everybody knows the movement of each other.

"He has adapted to our style and is suited to our style, like Drogba is suited to the Chelsea style. I have a huge respect for Drogba, he is a top class player, he is a fighter, he scores in the big games. In every single big game he scores. I know what kind of player he is."

Wenger also believes his wealth of options in attack makes his current attack even deadlier than the 2003-04 season when Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes and Freddie Ljungberg fired the Gunners to the title.

Wenger said: "There is depth, we have options. We have never had so many creative players. When you think against AZ Alkmaar, Rosicky came on, Eduardo came on. But you have to remember that Walcott was not there, Vela was not there, Bendtner was not there. You have plenty of offensive options available.

"Let's say they (the Invincibles) have done it, we have it all to do. We have a good potential, I believe we have a fantastic technical level, we have a good spirit in the team and it is all good ingredients.

"But let's show that we can do it. At the moment we are behind Chelsea and we should be in front of all of them already. We dropped two points at West Ham we could have taken and we lost at Man United and I still wonder how today."

Meanwhile, Wenger has revealed Fran Merida has agreed a new deal at the club, but has yet to sign it.

The 19-year-old's current contract expires next summer and Arsenal are keen to tie him down to a new long-term contract. However, Wenger admits other clubs have been undermining their attempts to agree a new contract with Merida and the Frenchman is not happy with the way Atletico Madrid have let their interest be known.

"He has an offer which he has agreed, but has not signed yet," said Wenger. "Some clubs are doing their work behind our back to destabilise him. We cannot stop that, but it is a fact."


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