Former Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer has shed light on why he left the club in 2017, admitting that he was played out of position by Arsene Wenger.
Bennacer joined Arsenal as a teenager in 2015, but was restricted to just one substitute appearance in the League Cup before leaving for Empoli two years later.
During his time in Serie A, Bennacer has outlined himself as a decent prospect, earning a move to AC Milan in 2019 – with Arsenal potentially having some regrets about not re-signing the Algeria international.
The 22-year-old says he has no regrets about his time at the Emirates Stadium, though, despite his lack of action – but has explained why he had to move on.
“I arrived in England in July 2015, then stayed in a hotel for the first two months because I didn’t want to live with a family I didn’t know,” Bennacer told Sportweek (via Football Italia).
“I was 17 years old and couldn’t live on my own, so my sister came to live with me, then the girl I’d been dating since school who in England would go on to become my wife.
“Finally, in September, I got some time on the pitch, but I was thrown on after two other injuries against Sheffield [Wednesday], played wide left in a trident attack, which I had never done before. I felt incredible pressure and wasn’t sure what was going on.
“I never played again after that, but I have no regrets, as I still got to train with important players like Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. I had four years left on the Arsenal contract, but I had to be at a club where they really wanted me.
“I didn’t know Empoli, but I accepted a move down from the Premier League to Serie B because they were the club who wanted me the most. I did the same when deciding on Milan – I chose them for their history too, but also because it was the best project for me.”