Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan has issued an apology to Brighton fans following comments he made when he completed his switch to north London in January.
The Gunners signed the Australia international on loan from the Seagulls for the remainder of the season.
However, the statement from the 28-year-old appeared to suggest he has no intention of returning to the south coast.
Ryan made his debut for the suspended Bernd Leno is last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa. He has now firmly established himself as Mikel Arteta’s No.2 behind the German.
But, having spent four years at the Amex, Ryan’s comments clearly riled Seagulls fans.
“I had in my mind a little bit of a plan that I wanted to play a couple of seasons at Brighton and try and do well and hopefully be bought by a bigger club and keep progressing in my career,” he told Optus Sport, as reported by Football London.
“Perhaps it didn’t work out in the way of playing two, three seasons and then being bought for a fee as. No.1 and going and playing.
“But one way or another I’ve obviously ended up in a massive step up from Brighton and to another level of football.”
Ryan regrets comments
Brighton fans accused the stopper of showing disrespect, to which Ryan issued an apology on social media.
After TalkSeagulls posted a snippet of the interview on its Instagram page, Ryan commented below: “Hey mate, it’s been brought to my attention that there’s been a few people who’ve been upset/disappointed with some comments I’ve made in this interview
“I want to apologise to anyone who has felt I’ve been disrespectful towards the club, this was not and never will be my intention.
“I recognise how people could have interpreted that through those comments and moving forward I’ll be sure to pay extra attention as to how I refer to the club to not have the same outcome.
“The club will always have a special place in my heart as I said and I’ve got nothing but fond memories and wish all the best to you all for the remainder of the season and I’ll always continue to support the club because of our experiences together.”