"I would not have expected that, but Sir Alex [Ferguson] and I had a very good relationship, that is why I stayed so long there because playing for him was a great honour," he said. "He listened to me, and would not go against me, so I am pleased.
"It is hard to leave because there are so many nice people there. But the fans will understand that as a player you leave. I was loyal to Man United for nine years and will now be loyal to Arsenal and perform as much as I can, which is all that matters."
"Hopefully I can look forward to a fresh start without any injuries. I left United especially because I did not want to spend any more time on the bench after nine years.
"I did not want to spend an extra one just waiting for the testimonial to arrive. That is not my mentality."