Denis Bergkamp
Former Arsenal forward Denis Bergkamp.

Arsenal legend Denis Bergkamp has lauded Robin van Persie's 'great' goal scoring record and said he had been impressed by the forward's ability to adapt.

Van Persie has scored 23 goals in 26 Premier League games this season and Bergkamp believes his record is even more remarkable as the Dutch international has completed just two campaigns as a centre-forward.

And Bergkamp, now a first-team coach with Ajax, insists it is only a matter of time before van Persie helps Arsenal to end their seven-year trophy drought.

"He has been playing in a role which is very difficult," Bergkamp told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

"I think it's easier for a guy like Robin or me to play behind the striker, and feed the main striker and sometimes get the space to do your own thing. But basically he is the one up front who has to make a difference, which puts a lot of pressure on him, but it seems like he can deal with it.

"It seems he can make the difference time after time and in my opinion that describes a great player. It's fantastic how he has developed himself, and players like that deserve trophies. So I honestly hope that comes soon, because his character and style of play is fantastic."

Bergkamp played alongside van Persie for two seasons after the younger Dutchman moved to Arsenal in 2004. And he revealed that there was a special buzz around the 28-year-old from the moment he arrived in north London.

"As soon as he trained with us you could see his potential," recalled Bergkamp. "He seemed free; he played with a lot of freedom. You could see immediately he was a very talented player.

"I got to know him a bit, obviously with us both being Dutch, so I tried to help him with a few things. You could really tell that he's a good person, a good lad, and totally the opposite to the stories that were coming out of Holland at the time about him.

"They said he was a difficult character, wouldn't listen to experienced players and so on, but he was a great example of a player making the right move at the right time. He joined a settled team with a lot of big players, and from day one he respected those players and listened to them, and I think that helped him a lot."

Meanwhile, van Persie has tipped England to be among the front-runners for this summer's European Championships, in the wake of Wednesday's 3-2 defeat to Holland.

Van Persie featured in the first half of Holland's win over caretaker England manager Stuart Pearce's side before he was replaced by goal scorer Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

And the Arsenal captain believes England could surprise Europe's top sides in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

"England are a very good team," van Persie told the official Arsenal Website. "They were a bit younger but they played well and they are a very good side. They have a massive chance of playing well in the Euros.

"Both teams played well. To be fair they scored in the 90th minute, we had one last attack which was a bit lucky in the end and pulled it back. It was a nice win, five goals, a good game of football and everybody is happy.

"It was a very useful [warm-up game]. Everybody showed that, everybody was committed and there were a few good tackles in the game."