Former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has, on Saturday, provided an insight into his decision to call time on his Gunners stint.
Swiss international Xhaka, of course, brought a definitive close to The Emirates chapter of his career earlier this month.
Ahead of West Ham standout Declan Rice’s imminent arrival in north London, it was long rumoured in the media that Xhaka had been identified as the odd man out in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
After Bayer Leverkusen tabled an offer of €25 million to bring the 30-year-old back to The Bundesliga, it therefore came as little surprise when word was forthcoming that he, in turn, had indeed been sold.
Just where, though, did Xhaka himself stand on the call for he and Arsenal to go their separate ways?
Well, as alluded to above, the all-action midfielder has on Friday provided an insight into precisely that.
Speaking in an interview with Spanish outlet Marca, Xhaka first confirmed that the decision to move on was not an easy one for either he or the hierarchy in north London:
“I spent seven magnificent years at Arsenal, I didn’t want to play against them. It wasn’t easy for me to leave or for the club to let me go.”
Evidently, though, the Swiss was of the opinion that the time was right to try something new, having been keen for a ‘new challenge’ at the BayArena:
“I felt love and respect from Edu and Arteta, but I wanted to face a new challenge at Bayer Leverkusen.”