Nacho Monreal has thanked Arsenal fans for the “respect and love” shown to him during his time at the club, and has called on the Gunners to give him the perfect parting gift: a north London derby win.
Monreal completed his move from Arsenal to Real Sociedad on Saturday to end a six-and-a-half year spell in north London.
The deal is worth a reported 250,000 euros (£225,000), with the 33-year-old left-back signing a two-year deal in San Sebastian.
Monreal joined Arsenal from Malaga in January 2013 and won three FA Cups and three Community Shields as a Gunner, scoring 10 goals in 250 appearances.
Monreal’s move came on the eve of the first north London derby of the season, and leaves Arsenal with a defensive shortage in the short-term.
Though they signed a long-term replacement in the form of Kieran Tierney in the summer, the Scotland international is out injured and not expected back until the end of September. Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are also sidelined.
The Spaniard took to Instagram to thank the Gunners for his time in north London, and said that while leaving was a tough decision, it was the right one for his family.
Monreal wrote on Instagram account: ”31st January, 2013. Malaga. I wake up, check my phone and have 2 calls from Santi Cazorla. I call him and he asks me if I want to play for Arsenal. 10 hours later I was an Arsenal player. Sometimes Football is simple.
“Different country, city, language, football style, team mates, where it’s not the best conditions for a shy person as me, but I knew I have to be there!!
“Almost 7 years later it’s time to say goodbye, it hasnt been an easy decision, but thinking of my family and my future it feels that it is the right decision.. I would like to say thank you to all my team mates, staff, and all the people who work for Arsenal and especially to the fans for all the respect and love they have always shown me.
“I’ll always remember you. THANKS.
“P.S Now it’s time to win the North London Derby”.