Barclays Premier League legend Alan Shearer has backed Robin van Persie to break his record of goals in a calendar year.
The Gunners captain netted his 33rd goal of 2011 in the win over Everton at Emirates Stadium on Saturday – scored in only 32 games.
Shearer was full of praise for a striker who has become an irreplaceable part of Arsene Wenger’s side this year.
“He will beat my total of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year — a record, by the way, I was unaware of until it was mentioned to me on Match of the Day at the weekend,” said Shearer in his column for The Sun.
“Records are there to be broken and I can think of no better striker than the Dutchman to write his name in the history books.”
Newcastle United hero Shearer also feels 2011 was the year that ‘RVP’ really proved he was able to just appear consistently at the top level, never mind proving he can compete with the best players.
“There have been nagging doubts in the past about his fitness and his ability to play a long spell of games without interruption,” he continued
“He has put that right over the last year and proved beyond doubt he is up there with the world's best.
“Van Persie can score goals any way you like. He puts away headers, tap-ins and rockets.”
The Match of the Day pundit added that the importance of Van Persie being named captain by Arsene Wenger must not be underestimated.
Although saying the Dutchman was not a typical character to be captain, Shearer conceded he has lead the team in his own way and has become as influential.
“There are different types of skipper and Van Persie is not the roll-your-sleeves-up type who offers loud vocal encouragement,” he added.
“He is someone who leads by example with the excellence of his performances. Team-mates will always be inspired by that kind of skipper.”