By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger admits Robin van Persie’s dazzling season in front of goal has exceeded even his own high expectations.

Van Persie’s is a short odds-on favourite for the Footballer of the Year award after scoring 27 league goals already this term - plus another seven in other competitions.

Wenger says he always had confidence in his captain’s abilities but concedes the striker’s “sensational” season has surpassed anything he could have predicted.

“Yes [he has exceeded my expectations], not on the quality of his games though because I expect a lot from him,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “It is purely football technically.

“The way it goes beyond my level of expectation is the number of goals he has scored, that is for sure. Where he is sensational as well is as a captain. He has done extremely well on and off the field.”

Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Apr 2012