Robin van Persie may not have a statue of himself outside of the Emirates just yet, but he is proving himself every bit as important to the Gunners this season as those already immortalised in bronze.
Statues of Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry were revealed at the Emirates at the weekend but there will be more pressing concerns for Arsenal fans with rumours continuing to fly about Van Persie’s future.
According to the Sunday Mirror, there are once again whispers that Real Madrid are sniffing around the player who will not discuss an extension to his contract until the summer.
It’s an unwanted distraction for Arsenal who climbed into the top four on Saturday thanks to their win over Everton in which Van Persie scored the only goal of the game.
Chelsea can overtake them if they pick up a point against Manchester City on Monday but it’s been a highly encouraging couple of months for Arsenal and they look good to make a real push to finish in the Champions League spots at the end of the season.
Arsenal are still well behind rivals Manchester United and City in the betting for the Premier League title though, with the Gunners out at 33/1 to win the Premier League.
That does look beyond them this season – despite winning seven and drawing one of their previous eight league games – but Champions League qualification is starting to look a distinct possibility.
And that is surely a must for the Gunners if they are to hang on to Van Persie and have any hope of catching the Manchester sides in the coming seasons.