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The Frenchman insists he is mindful of the Dutchman's injury history and has been buoyed by the striker's development at the Emirates

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised Robin van Persie and compared the Dutchman to club legend Thierry Henry.

The striker scooped the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award for October after scoring seven times in three games including a hat-trick against Chelsea last month.

The 28-year-old is now on 28 goals in 27 games in 2011 and has helped his team climb to seventh in Premier League following a poor start to the campaign.

Wenger has reiterated his desire to use the 28-year-old sparingly following his previous run of injuries but insists the club's top scorer this term is maintaining his fitness.

"He came here as a winger and when you look at the number of goals, you can only say fantastic," Wenger told reporters.

"I bought Thierry because he has power and pace, Robin van Persie more because I wanted to add a technical player to add in front of [Cesc] Fabregas and it worked. He has scored straight away.

"He has totally matured. He is much more focused on efficiency. You have to give him credit as he is a football lover.

"He was a bit on the edge after the Chelsea game [last Saturday] but he was not injured. He was just very tired.

"On Tuesday, the question was do I play him an hour and take him off or put him on in the last half an hour if needed. I chose the second option.

"The negative is that we didn't win, the positive is that he didn't get injured."