"He got his first cap and we are all happy for him," Wenger told arsenal.com. "Since the begin of the season you judge Flamini on performances and you cannot fault him on that. He has done a job in every area of his game, defensively, tactically as a team player, and we know as well he can turn up and score a goal.
"I tried to be fair with him [when he considered his future]. I could not stop him from leaving but told him if he stays, he knew the rules.
"We can only respect that mental strength and that character and to show on the pitch how good you are. It gives you confidence when you are 23 years old like Mathieu."