Santi Cazorla says it hurt him not being able to say a proper goodbye to Arsenal and Arsenal fans after his time at the club came to an end.
Having suffered an Achilles injury in October 2016, then endured a horrendous time with infections, multiple surgeries and bleak outlooks from doctors, the Spanish international departed in the summer of 2018.
He returned to his former club Villarreal, where he is enjoying a wonderful renaissance to his career, and is clearly enjoying his football again.
Speaking to local outlet Las Provincias, Santi reflected on his time in North London, under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger.
“You arrive at Arsenal and there is a coach who has been there for 20 years. He is the most normal person in the world.
“I spent six wonderful years with him, he trusted me from the first minute.
“It hurts me not to be able to say goodbye to a stadium that made me fall in love.”
And on the fans who took him to their hearts during his time at the club, he had nothing but praise, telling an anecdote about a rare outing in the city after a defeat.
“When I lose I do not usually leave home, not even with a 1-0, it goes against my way of being, but there was a match that was a 6-0 against Chelsea which was disastrous.
“My family came, they wanted to see London. I wasn’t up for the job, where was I going to go after the 6-0?
“But in the end we went to the center of London and all the people who stopped me were asking for photos, autographs and telling me that it is football and nothing else.”
It is a real shame we never got to say a proper goodbye to him, but it’s so nice to see him playing again after that awful injury.