Arsene Wenger has insisted Robin van Persie will receive the respect of the Arsenal players and fans alike when he makes his first trip back to the Emirates Stadium with Manchester United next Sunday.
Van Persie left Arsenal last summer in acrimonious circumstances after stating he would not sign a new contract with the club, and joined Manchester United in a deal worth £24 million during the closing days of the transfer window.
The 29-year-old former Gunners captain is likely to attract the ire of Arsenal supporters given the manner of his departure, and things could become even worse for the faithful of the north London club should Manchester United clinch the title on their patch.
Van Persie could, however, arrive back at the Emirates Stadium already a league winner should Manchester United record a victory against Aston Villa on Monday, and Wenger says the Dutchman deserves respect whatever the circumstances of his return.
"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 reported by The Mirror.
"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 if status they come with. We'll see."