Gilberto Silva
Gilberto was told he could leave Arsenal. (Reuters)

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has revealed Arsene Wenger encouraged him to seek a move away from north London when it became clear his role in the first team was a thing of the past.

The former Brazilian international enjoyed six successful seasons with the Gunners where we won the Premier League title as a key member of the club's infamous 'Invincibles' side, in addition to lifting two FA Cups.

Gilberto left Arsenal to join Panathinaikos in the summer of 2008 along with Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb, looking for more silverware which he found two years later when he helped the Greek outfit to their domestic title.

But the midfielder has since revealed his decision to leave the Emirates was confirmed when his manager admitted he wasn't needed anymore.

"The reason that made my leave was a conversation I had (with Wenger)," Silva told ESPN Brasil. "He called me during a training session, I had already accepted that I wasn't in the starting line-up and I was just waiting for an opportunity.

"He told me that if I had an opportunity to leave, he wouldn't oppose. Then I realised it was time to go."

Following his three year spell in Greece, Gilberto returned to his homeland to join Gremio for the 2011/12 season. He then re-joined his boyhood club Atletico Mineiro after 11 years away, winning a first ever Copa Libertadores title with the club in the summer of 2013.

During the summer when the Brazilian brought an end to his spell in north London, the Gunners added a then 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey to their ranks. The Welshman has since gone on to establish himself as an integral member of the Arsenal team, with his presence helping fill the void left by the likes of Gilberto and Cesc Fabregas over the years.

The in-form Welshman was at fault during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund mid-week however in what was perhaps the 22-year-old's first negative note of the season, something he readily held his hands up to.

"I was disappointed as well with the way they scored the first goal, I got caught on the ball and that was disappointing," Ramsey said following the loss.

"We were a bit slow to start but I thought after about 25 minutes we got into the game, we got our goal and then we took that into the second half."