Mikel Arteta not guilty over Arsenal switch

New Arsenal signing Mikel Arteta admits he had to seize the chance to quit Everton for a new challenge and he did not feel he let down his former employers with the manner of his exit.

The Spaniard's late decision to force through a transfer last night when the Toffees had initially turned down a £10million bid from the Gunners somewhat soured his exit.

Manager David Moyes had no intention of selling the 29-year-old but once it became clear Arteta was agitating for a move the Scot quickly decided he did not want to keep an unsettled player.

The only down side was it came so late it gave Everton no chance to find an adequate replacement.

But Arteta insists he gave his all to the club while he was there and hoped fans remembered that.

"It is a big opportunity for me and my family and I think it is the right time for me to take it," he 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 departure coincided with that of striker Jermaine Beckford to npower Championship side Leicester - although that had been planned for - with the only arrivals being season-long loans for Real Madrid's Royston Drenthe and Argentinian striker Denis Stracqualursi.

Arteta admits it was a wrench to leave Goodison Park but will always have fond memories of his six and a half years on Merseyside.

"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," he told evertontv.

"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. 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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project