"He told me in case I decide to leave he wouldn't stop me. It was my decision, he wanted me to stay, but at the end I didn't know, to be honest, if I would have a chance to play.
"Then I had this opportunity at Panathinaikos and I felt it was a great one in terms of playing games and a contract.
"I have three years there, when I only had one year left at Arsenal. I considered all these things to get this opportunity.
"It is fantastic because even though I haven't played much this year, at this stage [of my career] I have this opportunity to play in another club.
"It means over the years I have done the job well and people still believe in me."