Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Robin van Persie is now proving himself Captain Fantastic.

Saturday's hat-trick in the victory at Chelsea served only to justify Wenger's claims and, ahead of the Marseille game, the Frenchman hailed the Dutchman's suitability in all aspects of the role.

"He is the perfect captain not just because he scores goals but because he behaves like a captain on and off the pitch who wants his team to do well," said the manager.

"Robin van Persie has always scored goals but unfortunately for him he has always had a medical record. He was out for a long time.

"It's impossible to survive at the top level today if you do not have a regular presence in the team, and that's why people suddenly discover that he is exceptional. But for me he was always like that."