Star’s exit a positive for Wenger


Arsene Wenger claims Robin van Persie's summer departure has helped his Arsenal side by taking the focus off just one player.

The Gunners’ chief granted the Dutch hitman a summer move to Manchester United, when it was clear he would not sign a new contract at the Emirates Stadium beyond next year.

Despite Van Persie firing 30 Premier League goals for the Londoners last season, his best ever goals tally in one campaign, Wenger claims his absence from the squad this term means the rest of his players are not over reliant on one man.

“When Van Persie was injured of course it’s not only that you can’t score goals any more, it is the psychological consequences on the morale of the team,” Wenger said.

“Players ask you already, ‘does Van Persie play on Saturday or not?’ when he has two or three days out.”

Meanwhile, Wenger claims he could stop his players shaking hands in a bid to stamp out the spread of a virus throughout his squad, after Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin and captain Thomas Vermaelen have been recently hit by flu-like symptoms.

“We have improved the level of hygiene in the dressing room, we clean everything. It is funny, but shaking hands is one of the biggest things to spread virus,” the Frenchman added.


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