Tomas Rosicky says he gave serious consideration to leaving Arsenal in the January transfer window after growing increasingly frustrated at his lack of game time in the first half of the season.
The Czech midfielder had to wait until Boxing Day for his first Premier League start – scoring the winner in a 2-1 win against QPR – but has since featured in 12 of the last 15 matches, notching two more goals.
It’s a turnaround that has the 34-year-old open to another year at the Emirates, as he explained to local press while on international duty.
“Since the start of the year things have improved, the team has started to play better football and what’s more I’m playing! Compared to the first six months, it’s much better. We’ll see how it goes from here.
“I don’t really know [why I didn’t play]. It’s a good question, I’d also like to know. Perhaps you can go to one of Wenger’s press conferences and ask him directly.
“The coach gave me a chance towards the end the year against Queens Park Rangers and I scored, which of course helps, and then the manager began to give me more playing time. I don’t know, maybe it was a watershed moment.
“We’d talked about [me leaving in January] in previous meetings back in September and October, but then the market closed and I couldn’t do anything.
“When you don’t play a single game in December and the market opens, [the prospect of leaving] is obviously on the agenda. Then you start to have second thoughts. It was an exception for me though, I really thought about it. Then Arsenal said stay and that was that.
“The rest of the season will go quickly, then we’ll look for a solution. Arsenal is still an option for me next season, the ball is in their court. When I get back from international duty we’ll start to talk about it.
“There are two options open to me [stay at Arsenal or go elsewhere]. At the moment I’m in a situation where I make the decision.”
It’s not just for sentimental reasons that the majority of Arsenal fans would like to see Tomas stay on at the club for as long as possible. He may be in the swansong years of his career but his recent showings have proved he’s still capable of making an impact. Nothing makes us happier than watching his little legs nip the ball around a defender and start charging forwards…
Of course, at 34-years-old he’s now reached the point when he’s twice the age of the lads coming through the Academy and with Wenger’s youth policy he, for obvious reasons, is the most likely candidate to be benched. It’s a big decision for both parties to make…no doubt we’ll be hearing more in the coming months.