Van Persie succeeds Fabregas as Arsenal captain

London: Robin van Persie succeeded Cesc Fabregas as Arsenal`s captain on Tuesday but will not lead the team out against Udinese in the first leg of their Champions League playoff because he is suspended.

The 28-year-old Dutch forward misses the first leg of the play-off against Serie A side Udinese at the Emirates Stadium later on Tuesday as he is serving a one-match ban after being sent off against Barcelona in last season`s Champions League round-of-16 tie.

He will have to wait until Saturday, when Arsenal play Liverpool at the Emirates, for the armband passed to him following Fabregas`s departure to Barcelona on Monday.

Van Persie, who has been at Arsenal for seven years, told the club`s website: "As captain you are an ambassador for the Club and I`m ready for that.”

"I`ve been in the game now for more than 10 years, so I know how this world works. When I was 18 I didn`t have a clue...but now I feel experienced, so I feel ready for this."

As well as Van Persie sitting out the match, manager Arsene Wenger is serving a one-match touchline ban for comments he made to referee Massimo Busacca following Van Persie`s dismissal against Barcelona last March.

Samir Nasri, who could be leaving the club this week for Manchester City and who criticised Arsenal`s fans for being "disrespectful" to him during Saturday`s match at Newcastle, is also suspended and misses the game.

Bureau Report