3 October 2014 11:28
Arsene Wenger hopes Cesc Fabregas is afforded a positive reception when he faces his former employers with new club Chelsea on Sunday.
Former Arsenal captain Fabregas spent eight years at the club, having joined as a youth player from Barcelona in 2003.
However, when he opted to leave Camp Nou earlier this year, Arsenal passed up their first refusal option to re-sign him, with Fabregas suggesting Wenger felt unable to accommodate both him and Mesut Ozil in midfield.
Fabregas went on to make the switch to Stamford Bridge and he has enjoyed a strong return to the Premier League – racking up six assists in as many games to help unbeaten Chelsea top the table.
And with Arsenal making the trip to west London this weekend, Wenger has called for Fabregas to be treated with respect.
“Cesc Fabregas will have a great career because he’s a great player. He knows Arsenal had a positive influence on his career,” Wenger said on Friday.
“I have no animosity against Fabregas. He’s a player I love but he made a decision and we have to accept that.
“It was his decision. When he left we bought Ozil – we did not need to buy attacking players.
“Everyone respects Cesc here and I want him to get the reception he deserves on Sunday
“The most important thing is to be at the level we want to be on Sunday. Chelsea are very good defensively.”
Wenger also addressed the speculation regarding Lukas Podolski, after the German hinted he would leave the Emirates Stadium if his desire to play regularly is not satisfied.
The striker has played just 128 minutes this term and said “a change must occur” if he did not play more often.
“It is quite simple. There is no transfer market at the moment,” Wenger explained.
“We are all on board to get a result on Sunday.”