Arsenal signing Mikel Arteta has revealed that Champions League football was too good an opportunity to turn down, as the 29-year-old completed a deal to move to the north London club at the last minute of the transfer window.
Talks looked to have broken down between Arsenal and Arteta earlier in the day on Wednesday, but after the midfielder found out about interest from the Gunners, he reportedly told David Moyes of his wishes to leave Everton.
And Arteta insisted that while he loved playing for the Toffees, he needed to take advantage of the opportunity to play European football.
"It is a big opportunity for me and my family and I think it is the right time for me to take it," Arteta said.
"It is a big challenge, a different challenge, fresh for me and I want to see myself on the biggest stage, the Champions League.
"I am 29 years old so I haven't got much time left to take a chance like this one. I think I have done my best for Everton.
"I always try hard, I have been as professional as I could and I was grateful for the support and the love that the club and the fans showed me."
Arteta’s signature finished a very busy day for Arsenal, with the club completing five deals over 24 hours. Park Chu-Young, Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun and Andre Santos will all join Arteta in a new-look Gunners squad, after Wenger overhauled his squad in the wake of an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday.
Arteta joins Arsenal on a four-year deal, and can boast a great deal of Barclays Premier League experience, making 174 appearances for Everton.