Arsene Wenger has revealed, in anticipation of their game against Swansea City on Sunday, that he did not want to let Lukasz Fabianski leave. However, he insists that he had his hands tied as the Pole had served his contract and was a free agent.
The 29-year-old is getting regular first team action at the Liberty Stadium where he has established himself well after being kept on the bench by Wojciech Szczesny for most of his career at the north London club. The Gunners lost a reliable number two, who had been given the responsibility to marshal Arsenal's FA Cup triumph last season and end a nine-year long trophy drought.
This is the second time that the Gunners will face a departed stopper, having got the better of Vito Mannone at Sunderland.
Wenger will be hoping for a similar outcome to what transpired at the Stadium of Light, with the Italian spilling the ball from close range to allow Alexis Sanchez to storm in and slot in the second goal, which allowed Arsenal to run away comfortable winners.
"I didn't want to let him go, he was at the end of his contract. We didn't sell the player but when you get to 27 or 28 and you're not a regular first choice, you can understand that a player wants to go," Wenger told www.Arsenal.com.
The Frenchman also had nice words to say for Swansea, their opponents for Sunday, as they look to dispel the ignominy of their capitulation against Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The north London club are currently in fourth spot, a familiar position in recent years, but Wenger will be desperate to end his final years with a Premier League Trophy after bearing the brunt of scathing criticism from the media and fans alike.
"They are a side who have always played well and they are stabilised in the Premier League. They have a way to play and when you go to Swansea you know you face a tough opponent," he concluded.