By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes that previous frustrations are, in part, firing Robin van Persie to success this season.

The Dutchman underlined his fantastic form with a goal and two assists in the 4-0 win at Wigan on Saturday. It was his 32nd Premier League goal in a year virtually unblemished by injury.

Having been sidelined in previous seasons, Wenger knows his captain is revelling in his new-found opportunity.

“When you see the player that arrived and the player he is today then you have to give him a lot of credit,” said the manager. “His transformation has been exceptional.

“We have all played football because we wanted to enjoy it. He is a football lover. He watches tapes and knows all about the game. Then he wants to be on the pitch. Maybe he has been so frustrated by being out so many times that he rates what a chance it is to play for Arsenal.

“He has had an outstanding season so let’s hope we can keep him fit. He has played I think 48 games in the calendar year. That is the most he has played.

“He is talented and now he is the leader of the Club.  At a club like Arsenal that is not easy and he does it remarkably well.”

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5 Dec 2011