Arsene Wenger plays down Robin van Persie revenge ahead of Arsenal's clash with Manchester United

 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains Saturday's showdown at Manchester United will not just be all about trying to get one over on former captain Robin van Persie.

The Gunners are likely to come up against the Dutchman for the first time since his £24million summer transfer to Old Trafford.

Wenger has called for travelling Arsenal supporters to show Van Persie respect rather than hurl abuse from the terraces - and insists his squad are all focused on their own performances.

"For us, what is important is the result at the end of the game, and the quality of our performance. We do not even talk about that [van Persie]," Wenger said.

"I hope it [reception] is a respectful one because he has played for us for eight years, and he has done very well for us.

"We campaign against discrimination, it was still the case last week so why should it not be the case this week?"

Van Persie netted a total of 132 Arsenal goals - 37 of which came last season to help secure third place in the Barclays Premier League.

The Holland forward, 29, has certainly come a long way since Wenger brought him to the club as a raw, temperamental talent from Feyenoord in 2004.

Much of that is down to the guidance of the Gunners boss.

"You would think that one of the parts of my job is to have a positive influence on people's [lives] as a player. When you manage to do that, you are always kind of satisfied," said Wenger.

"You want to try and have a positive influence on people you cross in your life. I think my influence was not too bad."

Van Persie, who turned down a lucrative offer from champions Manchester City, has settled quickly into his new side, scoring seven Premier League goals already.

Wenger said: "I am not surprised by how well he is doing.

"In Manchester United, you have good players around him, and Robin is very intelligent around the box, his runs are fantastic and his technique is absolutely amazing.

"There are a lot of players in offensive positions, so with his intelligent runs, of course he will take advantage of that.

"Robin is certainly the most efficient striker."

PA

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