Robert Pires sets example for Arsenal youngsters in training says Arsene Wenger - although talk of re-signing the midfielder is ruled out

The former Gunner has been training at London Colney recently

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The Independent Football

Robert Pires has returned to train with Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger believes having the former Gunners midfielder at London Colney can only help the development of Arsenal's next generation.

Pires, who will be 40 next month, is currently making use of the Gunners' Hertfordshire complex to keep up his fitness levels, having left Aston Villa at the end of the 2010-11 season.

The former France international helped deliver a string of trophies after signing for Arsenal from Marseille in 2000, and became an integral part of Wenger's 'Invincibles' title-winning side from 2003-04.

Wenger hopes some of that experience will rub off on the youngsters hoping to help drive Arsenal, who are currently top of the Barclays Premier League, on to more success.

"Of course, it is a great opportunity," said Wenger.

"He practises with the young players with the under-21 team and I feel always there is no better education than playing with players at that age with top-level players."

Wenger, though, ruled out any suggestion Pires could follow another former Gunner Mathieu Flamini in rejoining the club - just as Thierry Henry had done on loan from New York Red Bulls in 2012.

"Robert Pires will not join us, he was born in 1973, but is still very fit and a great player.

"We are always happy to have him in training, but just occasionally comes in to practise."