RVP: I will always respect Arsenal fans

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie knows that he is in for a hot reception at Arsenal but he insists he will always respect the fans of his former club.

Robin van Persie of Manchester United

By FOX Sports Staff

The Dutchman spent seven seasons at the Emirates Stadium before joining United in a controversial summer transfer last year.

The move seems to have worked out for him as he is set to win his first Premier League winner's medal, having already helped his side secure the title with a hat-trick against Aston Villa earlier in the week.

Fans at former club Arsenal, however, will not share in that joy as many still feel betrayed at their former captain's decision to defect and leave for arch-rivals United. The move served to strengthen United while weakening his former club at the same time, and the Gunners did struggle to find their bearings without their former striker for much of the season.

However, a late surge has once again helped salvage the prospect of a top-four finish but they do need a win against United to stay ahead of Chelsea in third place.

Regardless of the result on the night, it is expected that fans will turn their ire on Van Persie in order to express their dissatisfaction towards the former Feyenoord striker.

It is a sentiment that Van Persie does not disagree with as he told the Sun: "I have always respected the Arsenal fans and always will. They love their club so I understand their feelings."

But the Dutch international insists that any ill-feeling towards him will not sour his opinion of the club that he used to call home.

"Players, staff, managers and even directors come and go, but fans will always stick with their team.

"So I am looking forward to playing at the Emirates again. I have good memories there.

"And it will be good to see my old colleagues, staff and friends again."

Had Van Persie not helped United win at Villa earlier in the week, he would have faced the troubling prospect of having to secure his first Premier League title at the ground of his former club.

Admitting relief at getting to avoid that scenario, the Dutch international added: "I am so glad we have won the title. And it was nice to win it at home in front of our own fans. That was a really great bonus."

Van Persie currently leads the goalscoring charts with 24 goals to his name and is set to win the Golden Boot for a second successive year as main rival Luis Suarez has been ruled out for the season due to a ten-match ban for violent conduct.

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