By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to Patrick Vieira after the Arsenal legend called time on his playing career.

Vieira has retired at the age of 35 and taken up a new position as Football Development Executive at his final club, Manchester City. But he will of course be remembered for his exploits at Highbury after making 406 appearances and winning seven major trophies in a nine-year spell at Highbury.

The Frenchman captained Arsenal to an unbeaten Premier League campaign in 2003/04 and his former manager appreciates what he brought to the Club.

"You can only have lot of respect for what Patrick has achieved," said Wenger. "His career is sensational. He was an exceptional player for us.

"We have classy players in midfield now but Patrick was special. He was a tall player with good technique.

"You do not compare [old players with new players]. We have exceptional players in midfield with their own character. But at Arsenal we will be forever grateful for Patrick’s contribution."

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 14 Jul 2011