Mikel Arteta has defended the timing of his transfer to Arsenal, saying he did not let Everton down by submitting a transfer request late on Wednesday's deadline day.
Everton had initially rejected a £10m bid from Arsenal but once the Spaniard, 29, made it clear he was in favour of the move, manager David Moyes had little choice but to allow the player to leave.
But Arteta said the prospect of Champions League football was too good to turn down and he insists he doesn't feel he let down his former employers with the timing of his exit.
"I've been as professional as I could but that is football," Arteta 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."
The deal looked to have collapsed after talks between the two clubs broke down and reports in Friday's press suggest manager Arsene Wenger turned to alternative targets as the 11pm transfer deadline loomed closer.
Wenger had been linked with a move for Lille's Eden Hazard throughout the summer but, after being informed the midfielder was not for sale, the Gunners boss reportedly turned his attention to Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze, Hamburg winger Eljero Elia and Lyon's Yoann Gourcuff.
German newspaper Bild has revealed Wenger failed with a £35m offer for Dortmund midfielder Gotze, with the Bundesliga side reluctant to weaken their side ahead of the new season.
Wenger also made a move for Dutch international Elia as he sought to bolster his midfield following the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Elia confirmed talks were on-going between the clubs right up until Wednesday morning but, as negotiations stalled, Juventus seized the opportunity to agree terms with the Hamburg player.
"My agent did have contact with Arsenal, but it took too long," the 24-year-old told the Metro.