Arsene Wenger has praised the leadership qualities of Robin van Persie but, admits the Arsenal boss, he would never have predicted the Dutch striker would become captaincy material.
The 28-year-old has been in sensational form this year, and has thrived since succeeding Cesc Fabregas as Gunners skipper, after the Spaniard departed for Barcelona.
Wenger, though, had his doubts over the suitability of van Persie as a captain when he initially signed for Arsenal from Feyenoord in the summer of 2004.
The Frenchman has, however, been won over by van Persie, and knows he made the right choice to hand him the armband at the start of the season.
"For me Robin is a great leader," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "You would not have predicted that [at the start], that's credit to him.
"If you had asked me seven or eight years ago I would not have predicted that he would become captain of Arsenal Football Club. That's credit to him.
"His evolution has been outstanding, not only as a human being but as a player too."