"At the start we gave him Dennis Bergkamp as a role model and he is growing into that role very well. Just look at the numbers," Wenger told arsenal.com. "He is more of a goalscorer than Dennis and I think he has developed his vision and passing well.
"Robin respected Dennis and listened to his advice. He arrived when Dennis was already 33, 34 so he accepted to play that kind of master advice [role]. It was not anymore about him [Van Persie] taking his place. He wanted to help him.
"I believe that Robin is passionate about the game. He was a little bit sidelined in Holland when we bought him and [during the] first year we observed him when he was more on the bench. In fact we watched him more in the Reserves than in the first team.
"When he arrived here it was a big move for him physically and mentally but I believe he has survived because of his talent and his intelligence but mainly because of his passion for the game. He wanted absolutely to make it. He has developed less on his individual talent than as a team player. "