Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has been hailed as the ‘best striker in the world’ by former teammate Carlos Vela.
The Mexican forward is preparing to take on United at Old Trafford on Wednesday and has spoken of his former Arsenal teammate’s influence on his development.
Vela used to sit next to Van Persie in the Arsenal dressing room and often asked for advice on how to improve his game.
“For me, he’s the best striker in the world and it was a pleasure to be able to share moments in training with him,” Vela told the Independent.
“I learned a lot from him.
“If I was missing something in my game he’d speak to me and give me advice. I’m grateful for that. “
Vela, 24, struggled for first team opportunities at Arsenal and left for San Sebastian in 2011.
As a regular starter, his goals helped the Basque Club to secure Champions League Qualification last season after achieving a fourth placed finish.
The striker has played against Manchester United before, in his Arsenal days, as a substitute in the 2009 Champions League semi-final defeat – ironically replacing Van Persie.
Vela will also come up against another friend on Wednesday when he squares off against his fellow countryman Javier Hernandez
“We’ve played together since we were 14,15,” Vela said.
“He’s a good player but the competition he’s got at United is very difficult.
“However, he’s a player and a person who doesn’t give up and makes the most of any opportunity he gets.”
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