Santi Cazorla has revealed his regret at not being able to bid a proper farewell to Arsenal fans before leaving the club.
The Spanish midfielder suffered a serious Achilles injury in October 2016 and missed the next season and a half after multiple operations and disrupted comebacks.
The 34-year-old eventually left Arsenal in the summer of 2018 and rejoined former club Villarreal, where his impressive form has earned him a recall to the Spanish national team for the first time in four years.
And while he is enjoying his football again at Estadio de la Cerámica, Cazorla still harbours frustrations that he wasn’t able to say goodbye to Arsenal supporters before he departed north London.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Las Provincias, the midfielder said: “You arrive at Arsenal and there is a coach [Arsene Wenger] 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.
“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.”
Picking up on his comments, Arsenal fans took to social media to urge Head of Football Raul Sanllehi to grant Cazorla a testimonial or the opportunity to say farewell to the fans.