I have made much progress at Arsenal alongside my teammates and Arsene Wenger. I thought long and hard and it was a difficult choice, mentally.
At City, the squad is much bigger. But that's what I was looking for, I needed to challenge myself.
Arsenal is and will remain a quality team. I understand the fans are frustrated when they see the transfers at other clubs.
The summer window started promisingly, with the signing of Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, and the additions of Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy had fans hoping 2014 would be the year the Gunners would finally address all their needs.
And yet, on the final day of the window, Wenger had to scramble to find depth in central defence, at the holding midfielder position and at striker, and he ended up only addressing the latter.
Wenger was adamant former captain Thomas Vermaelen would only leave the club if he found a solid replacement with equal experience, per the Daily Star's Colin Harvey. It never happened.
What about Serge Aurier, who spent most of the summer telling people he was "dreaming," as reported by Foot Mercato (via Metro's Hannah Duncan), of a move to the Premier League?
In truth, fans probably don't know what to make of the past summer. While top talents like Sanchez and Chambers will no doubt improve the squad, the Gunners will once again enter the new season lacking depth in several key areas. Once again, the danger of an untimely injury ruining an entire season is present.
This Gooner probably voiced what a lot of people are thinking:
Wenger takes the same risks every season. Doesn't buy, no depth, season gets tough = lots of injuries. Blame poor season on injuries.2014-9-1 22:17:40
The signing of Danny Welbeck was a shrewd one, and the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson wrote a great article explaining how the England international is an excellent-value signing. But he also had to mention the club's other needs:
The question for Arsenal, of course, is whether Welbeck represents what they really need. The lack of options at centre-back – where Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the only senior options – seemed the most urgent priority and looks worryingly like a gamble that may yet backfire over the course of the season.
That's Wenger in a nutshell—he'll likely turn Welbeck into the striker Alex Ferguson believed he could become, only to watch Arsenal's title challenge go down the drain because one of Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny gets injured in February.
The season is far from lost for the Gunners—in fact, fans probably have more reasons to be optimistic now than they did 12 months ago. But after such a promising start to the summer window, there shouldn't be any lingering questions at this point. Gooners deserve better.
A sense of urgency in the last two weeks and the ability to recognise a clear need in the squad and address it in timely fashion could have made things work out so differently. Unfortunately, Arsenal fans still don't know what it feels like to enter the new season fully comfortable in the squad the club will be fielding.
Talent has never been the issue for the Gunners, but once again, the North Londoners don't boast the depth their Premier League title rivals do. Even after last year's title collapse, Wenger still hasn't learned his lesson, and fans better hope the injury bug avoids the Emirates this time around.