AC Milan’s Ismael Bennacer has spoken about his time at Arsenal.
Former Arsenal youngster Ismael Bennacer has spoken out about his time with the Gunners and his decision to leave the club.
The 22-year-old, now on the books at AC Milan after a spell at Empoli, only made one first-team appearance for us during his brief stint in north London a few years ago, and has now suggested he didn’t feel wanted at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek, as translated by Tribal Football, Bennacer says he had four years still to run on his Arsenal deal but wanted to go somewhere where he’d feel more wanted.
“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,” he said.
“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, 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.”
It remains to be seen how the rest of Bennacer’s career pans out, but for the time being the Algeria international doesn’t particularly look like a player we’ll massively regret losing. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly like he’s Serge Gnabry.