By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger insists his decision to bring back Robin van Persie at Tottenham on Wednesday is NOT a massive gamble.

The manager lost William Gallas and Cesc Fabregas for significant periods after he played them while still recovering against Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter-Final first leg. Having waited since November for Van Persie to return, it will be heart-breaking for the Dutch striker to suffer in similar fashion.

At his pre-match press conference, Wenger was confident this would be different but he could provide no promises.

"There is always a gamble," he said. "I don't want to deny that, there is always a gamble in this kind of decision. But in his case we have been a bit more cautious because he has had more time for preparation.

"The biggest gamble I took recently was on Gallas. Fabregas was not a massive gamble. Gallas certainly and it didn't work but he came back from a muscular problem. That is not the case for Robin. He has a joint problem.

"Robin is a very important player for this club. He is important for the confidence of our offensive power, he is a player who can contribute as well. He can make the final ball, he is good on set-pieces, he can score goals, so we are very happy to have him back. The sadness for us is that we lost him so early in the season."

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 13 Apr 2010