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- Dubai 05:25 06:43 12:11 15:09 17:32 18:50
Robin van Persie has revealed that Arsenal want his five-year-old son to enter their youth training ranks.
Shaqueel van Persie has already shown talents in both football and golf and has been playing for a club near to the family home.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a reputation for unearthing young gems but his latest tactic could be construed as a ploy to bind Van Perise to the club for the long term.
The Arsenal striker, who is in prolific goal-scoring form, has postponed new contract talks until the summer, when he will have 12 months to run on his deal.
Van Persie senior is happy for his son to stay with his current side and insists he does not need to answer Arsenal’s calls just yet
"I honestly have to say that he (Shaqueel) has got a lot of talent for football," said Van Persie, the Arsenal captain. "I recognise a lot of stuff of myself in him. His coach is really great. Arsenal has invited him a couple of times to come and play there but he likes it at his club. He's sensitive for a good atmosphere. Just like me.
"He loves to play golf. You've got some great golf courses here. He's taking lessons and we regularly play a round. Sometimes he beats me! He's got a great gift for where the ball has to go. My shots sometimes end up in the bush; his always go straight. He says: 'Dad, I'm going to chip now, gimme my this or that club.' He can do that perfectly as well."
It is not entirely unusual for Premier League clubs to seek to accommodate the young sons of players. Damian, the son of Rafael van der Vaart, the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and Van Persie's international team-mate with Holland, trains every week with the Tottenham under-sixes.
Meanwhile, a host of clubs are monitoring Van Persie's situation, chief among them Manchester City and, in an interview with NUsport magazine, Van Persie spoke of his admiration for Barcelona.
"I still think you can achieve most by playing beautiful football," he said. "Look at Barcelona. Their football is something unique, beautiful to watch. We will never forget it. But sometimes, they also depend on the individual actions of [Lionel] Messi or somebody else.
"Nobody can play beautiful football all the time. That's what I tell the boys (at Arsenal). When it doesn't go smoothly, just try to kill the game.
"I'm still a lover of the game and I will always be but I've become more realistic. It's too romantic to think you can only win by playing beautiful football. Barcelona is the exception."
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