Mike Dean to receive medal from Arsenal before 500th Premier League game as he names Sir Alex Ferguson as ‘the best and toughest’ manager to officiate

Mike Dean will be celebrated with a commemorative medal by Arsenal ahead of his 500th Premier League fixture.

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The 51-year-old will take charge of the Gunners’ home clash against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon and will be honoured in the referee’s room ahead of the fixture.

Tranmere Rovers fan Dean is by far the most experienced referee in the top flight, with Martin Atkinson having taken charge of 397 games.

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Mike Dean will take charge of his 500th Premier League game on Saturday afternoon
Dean told the Mirror: “The game this weekend will be a special one of course, but there is still a match to officiate so my focus will be on that.

“My wife Karam, eldest daughter Zara and my grandson Harvey will all be there to watch, as will a very good friend of mine, Dave Somers, a former SFA referee who will travel down from Scotland.

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“My other daughter Brittany won’t be coming as her priority with be watching Tranmere, as always!”

The irony of such an historic day for Dean taking place at the Emirates will not be lost on Arsenal fans.

Wenger was severely sanctioned by the FA for his comments to Dean back in 2017

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Wenger was severely sanctioned by the FA for his comments to Dean back in 2017
Back in December 2017 Arsene Wenger was hit with a whopping £40,000 fine and a three-game touchline ban after a game against West Bromwich Albion where he called Dean a ‘disgrace’.

But he will now be given the VIP treatment in north London before the game against the Blades and did not even name Wenger as the toughest manager to deal with.

“It would have to be the same answer to both questions,” he added. “Sir Alex Ferguson has to be the best and toughest!

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“To stay in charge of a team at the top level for so long has to be admired and I have a lot of respect for him.”

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