By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes that the Premier League will be poorer for the loss of Roy Keane.

The former Manchester United captain resigned as Sunderland manager this week after a string of defeats saw the Black Cats drop into the relegation zone. Keane guided Sunderland into the top flight during his 27-month stint at the Stadium of Light but, according to the chairman Niall Quinn, he felt he had taken the club as far as he could.

Wenger expects Keane to return to football before long and believes that the Irishman's passion - so prominent in his playing days - has left its mark on his fledgling managerial career.

"It is a surprise [that he has resigned], but I can understand that," said the Frenchman.

"He is a passionate man, and I regret he leaves the job. When you are passionate, especially at the start of this career, you suffer immensely physically. Also, because he is a passionate man, there is no other way for him to be in the job.

"When you are passionate about the game, you go out of it and then come back into it because there is no other way to be happy. That is why I believe he will be back."

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 5 Dec 2008