By Nick Teale

Arsène Wenger believes Liverpool fans will respect Michael Owen when he returns to Anfield on Sunday.

The striker scored 118 goals for the Merseyside club but, following spells at Real Madrid and Newcastle United, signed for their bitter rivals Manchester United over the summer.

However, Wenger believes Reds fans will show their respect to a player he says is 'loved' at Anfield.

"Generally they respect that Owen is loved at Liverpool and he will be welcome," said Wenger, before explaining that the Englishman's decision to go to Old Trafford wasn't made in disrespect to his former club.

"He didn't go to United because Liverpool wanted him as well. He was at Newcastle going down to the Championship and United was one of the few opportunities that he had."

The Arsenal manager also revealed why he chose not to try and sign the 29-year-old.

"I didn't consider him because I had Eduardo coming back in a similar position to Owen."

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 23 Oct 2009