Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to former Gunner Manuel Almunia after he announced his retirement.

The 37-year-old spent eight years in north London between 2004 and 2012 but was this week forced to hang up his gloves due to a heart condition.

Almunia made 175 appearances during his time at Arsenal and Wenger hopes he will make a full recovery.

"It's very sad that he has a heart condition," the boss said. "I think he is at an age where you can accept that he retires from competitive professional football but I hope there's nothing bad for his future and his health.

"I gave him [more credit than others] because I played him. I think he was a great goalkeeper.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 29 Aug 2014