By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger says statistics showing that Robin van Persie played more minutes than any Arsenal player in 2011 prove how quickly the football landscape can change.

The Gunners captain has had to deal with a series of injuries during his career but over the past 12 months he played a total of 3,132 minutes, according to Opta.

Next in line was Wojciech Szczesny with 2,970 minutes, despite the fact he had only appeared once for the first team before 2011. Laurent Koscielny was third on 2,896 minutes.

“It shows you how quickly it changes at the top level. Nobody would have predicted that, at the end of 2010, Robin would be the guy who plays more than anybody else [in the next year],” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“You could have predicted Koscielny maybe, but goalkeepers are a bit special. Once you have made somebody the No 1, usually they play a number of games.

“It was an important year for Szczesny of course, but it was an exceptional year for Van Persie and an improvement year for Koscielny where he has grown. We have seen him growing from game to game and he has become a very important player in our squad.”

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6 Jan 2012