Russell Martin: Arsenal are better off without Van Persie

The Norwich City defender believes that Arsene Wenger has actually improved his side since selling the Dutch striker by investing in new players to deal with his departure
Norwich City defender Russell Martin believes that Arsenal have improved as a team by selling Robin Van Persie and investing in new players.

The Gunners have started the season in good form, with Santi Cazorla - the most high-profile of their summer signings - winning particular praise for his performances.

Martin believes that Arsene Wenger has built a well-rounded team having also acquired the likes of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud and anticipates a tough test when Arsenal visit Carrow Road to face the struggling Canaries on Saturday.

"They got rid of a fantastic player but brought in another three or four fantastic players to replace him," Martin told The Sun.

"I know it sounds strange but I think that has made them a much stronger team. They were a great team with him and they are still a great team without him.

"But the difference is that instead of having three or four match winners, now they have nine or 10."

Norwich are yet to win a match in the Premier League this season but Martin believes they can take heart from their two close game against Arsenal during the previous campaign.

Van Persie made the difference in a 2-1 away victory in Norfolk before Steve Morison secured Norwich a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

"It's a massive game for us and we know how hard it will be," Martin acknowledged. "But we went toe to toe with them in two games last season and we must try to match them again."