Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal will respect Robin van Persie
The Manchester United striker returns to the Emirates for the first time
Friday 26 April 2013
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will be treated with respect on his return to Arsenal, his former manager Arsène Wenger said.
Van Persie, who left Arsenal last year after eight seasons at the club, returns on Sunday as a Premier League champion after his hat-trick helped his new team wrap up the title against Aston Villa on Monday.
The achievement means the Dutch international, along with the rest of the United squad, will be clapped on to the pitch by the Arsenal players in a guard of honour, a gesture that is likely to rankle the home fans, who are still angry about his departure.
Wenger, however, said that the player who left for a fee of £24m, would not be shunned by his former employers.
"We will respect the players that have played for us a long time as we always have done and treat them well before and after the game," Wenger said. "As a champion or not as a champion it is exactly the same. What I want is for us to have a good game and to beat them, it doesn't matter what kind of status they come with."
With the striker's return dominating the pre-match talk, there is a feeling that Arsenal, who are in a three-way battle with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur for two Champions League spots, must not be distracted by Van Persie.
"Their players are of the highest level, you can't just focus on one player because their team is full of players who can create and score," Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal said.
"We must be on our guard and be aware of certain key players, like Robin, who has scored a sack of goals this year and is playing well. He is one of their main threats."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez close to exit as Atletico Madrid admit interest
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen and Daley Blind on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Divock Origi joins Liverpool before immediately being loaned back to Lille
Seydou Keita refuses Pepe handshake before throwing water bottle prior to Roma vs Real Madrid match
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us