The Russian playmaker has been limited to just five appearances this term but came off the bench to hit the cross that led to Mikel Arteta’s late winner against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The 31-year-old’s attitude had been called into question following his return from a short loan spell at Zenit Saint Petersburg in the second half of last season, with the midfielder linked to a permanent move back to Russia over the summer.
But Arsenal boss Wenger has fiercely defended the “classy” midfielder and was thrilled to see him make an impact against QPR.
“I say that because [his attitude] has been questioned. I don’t tolerate that,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “If that was the case I would not speak about it.
“But Andrey comes in every day and practices well, he is focused and wants to do well. I insist on this, because it was questioned and it is completely unjustified. In this case perception is not reality.
“He is a classy player and a top professional with a great attitude. You could see that when he came on [against QPR], his brightness and his intelligence with the final ball is fantastic.”
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