By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger believes Robin van Persie is the “sharpest he has been for a long time”.

The Dutchman's snap-shot put Arsenal ahead at West Ham on Saturday, his cut-back set up Theo Walcott for a second then his penalty both wrapped up the win and capped a fine individual performance.

The 27-year-old has been used sparingly since suffering an ankle problem at Blackburn in August. Wenger has deliberately eased Van Persie back into action and that appears to be paying dividends as he begins to near his best.

“It’s the sharpest he has been for a long time,” said Wenger.

“Van Persie is a technical striker with short, sharp movements and [he] can bring other players in.

“In our system that is very important. He works hard for the team like all the other strikers and he is a left-footed player who gives different angles in the build up of the game.

“He depends on his physical sharpness."

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 18 Jan 2011