Belfast Telegraph

Arsene Wenger urges Arsenal fans to show Cesc Fabregas respect

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on the club's fans to show Cesc Fabregas "the respect he deserves" when the former Gunners captain returns to the Emirates Stadium in a Chelsea shirt on Sunday.

Fabregas, 27, has been integral to the Blues' Premier League title challenge this season after joining from Barcelona in the summer.

Arsenal had reluctantly sold the Spain midfielder back to his boyhood club for £30m in June 2011 and were understood to have first option should the player come back onto the market.

A potential deal never materialised though as Fabregas - who played more than 300 games for Arsenal after breaking into the first team as a 16-year-old - joined up with Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge instead.

It remains to be seen what sort of reaction the former crowd favourite will receive from home supporters on Sunday, but Wenger feels it should not be hostile.

"I want every player to be respected, I want Cesc Fabregas when he comes to the Emirates on Sunday to be respected like he deserves," the Arsenal manager said.

"The regret I have is that he wanted to leave here. This club and myself had a very positive influence on Cesc's life, so I would be a bit uncomfortable to have to justify why he is not here."

Meanwhile, Wenger believes Patrick Vieira has the credentials to become a successful manager.

But the Gunners boss thinks Manchester City already have a man of "super" calibre in their top job in Manuel Pellegrini.

Vieira, one of Wenger's most influential former Arsenal captains, is currently the manager of City's elite development squad.

Wenger said of Vieira: "I believe he has the intelligence and the competence to do this job, but I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence and super-quality - so if you want me to interfere in that, I am not ready to do it."

Belfast Telegraph


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