New Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta: It was the right time to leave Everton

Spaniard insists that it was time to move on and play for a club that could offer him Champions League football, and thanks the Toffees for his time at Goodison Park
New Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta feels that it was the right time in his career to leave Everton and progress to playing for a club competing in the Champions League.

The Spaniard left the Toffees on deadline day to join the north London outfit, signing a four-year contract after a fee thought to be in the region of £10 million had been agreed between the two clubs.

Prior to his departure to join the Gunners, Arteta told evertonTV: "It is a big opportunity for me and my family and I think it is the right time for me to take it.

"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."

Having spent six-and-a-half years plying his trade at Goodison Park, the midfielder was thankful to the club that helped him establish his career in England.

Arteta added: "It is very difficult to say goodbye. I still can't believe it but at the same time I think it is the right moment for everyone.

"That is the way football is, there is always a start and an end and today is the end of probably the best time of my career. I am never going to forget it.

"It has been crazy. It has been a crazy day. I can't believe what happened, and the way it happened but as I said, that is part of football and I am going to be playing for another club soon.

"Obviously I am never going to forget what I have done here and what the people and this club have done for me."