Unai Emery has revealed that midfielder Lucas Torreira was the only player he didn’t get to bid farewell to following his Arsenal sacking.
The Spaniard was given his marching orders in November having led the club to their worst run since 1992, with no wins in seven matches.
Emery said his farewells to his players on the morning he was dismissed, but he has explained why Torreira – who was of his signings at the club – was absent from the goodbyes.
The 23-year-old Uruguay international was a regular in the first team, having been signed by the former Paris Saint-Germain boss for £27million from Sampdoria in 2018.
“It all happened on a Friday morning I was told. We said goodbye to the footballers,” Emery told Guillem Balague.
“I told Raul [Sanllehi] that I’d prefer the footballers to come to me individually instead of me going to the changing room and making a speech.
“And they all came, apart from Lucas Torreira. He couldn’t make it but left us a message.
“He was receiving a massage at that moment but all the players came. I also got messages from Koscielny and from Welbeck and I thank them all. But now is the time to go home.”
Mikel Arteta has succeeded Emery as manager of the club, following Freddie Ljungberg’s interim stint in charge, but he has yet to record a win having drawn to Bournemouth and lost to Chelsea in his first two matches at the helm.
And remarkably, Emery has claimed that before he was sacked, Emirates chiefs were even considering offering him a new contract.
“It’s true that I was very satisfied with how things went, because I believe we learned how to become a team,” he continued.
“A team that in general was what we were talking about as to the reasons Arsenal signed me.
“I believe we achieved that and just needed to make the final step. I had the feeling – and so did the club – that the achievements of the previous season were valued.
“We were now looking to how we could develop together, even to the point where they were looking to offer a renewed contract.”