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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Arsenal sign Van Persie
VAN PERSIE FACTS
Robin van Persie
Born 6 August, 1983
Joined Feyenoord in 2001
Helped Feyenoord win Uefa Cup in 2002
Has scored 14 goals in 60 games for Feyenoord
Has played for Holland at U-21 level
Arsenal have signed Feyenoord's 20-year-old forward Robin van Persie on a long-term deal for a reported 3m fee.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: "Robin is a great young talent and a fantastic signing for the club.

"He has a great left foot and is a great passer with excellent vision. He can play as a striker or on the wing."

Van Persie, who is believed to have signed a four-year deal, said: "I'm delighted to be joining a great club like Arsenal, it's a dream come true."

Arsenal had an initial bid for Van Persie rejected in the January transfer window and Wenger bought Sevilla's Jose Reyes instead.

Van Persie is expected to be officially registered as an Arsenal player on 17 May, when the transfer window re-opens.

And he will join the Gunners in the pre-season in July.

The Dutch under-21 international said: "I'm looking forward to meeting all my new team-mates in the summer.

"The squad is full of players at the top of their game, which they have proved by winning the English Premier League.

"I am looking forward to helping the club to challenge for more honours."

Van Persie has been a regular in the Feyenoord first team for the past two seasons and helped them win the Uefa Cup in 2002.

During that year, he was named "best young talent" for the season by the Dutch PFA.

Van Persie's six goals in 27 league appearances this season have helped Feyenoord to third place in the Dutch league.

At Arsenal, he is seen as a long-term replacement for Dennis Bergkamp, whose contract runs at the end of the season and may not be renewed.

Fellow strikers Sylvain Wiltord and Kanu also face uncertain futures at Highbury and Van Persie's arrival is likely to lead to departures in the summer.

Wenger added: "Robin has shown great potential at both club and under-21 international level and will help to strengthen our squad considerably."






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