Former Arsenal youngster Yassin Fortune has revealed why he quit the club over the summer after he was offered a four-year extension to his previous deal which expired last summer.
The Gunners beat rivals Manchester United for the signature of the French Under-20 international back in 2015 for a fee of £3m. However, Fortune failed to make a first team appearance for the club and that was ultimately the reason for his departure, as he left to play first team football.
According to Foot Mercato (via the Daily Star), Fortune said: "Arsenal offered me a four-year extension but I wanted to enter professional football.
"Arsenal is a great club, but I needed playing time. I had to play, and I preferred to leave.
"I spoke with Per Mertesacker which made me think very hard. He wanted me to absolutely stay.
"But I felt the best solution was to leave".
This campaign the 19-year-old has made 12 first-team appearances for FC Sion in the Swiss Super League, scoring on two occasions.
Fortune added: " At that moment I was not yet contacted by Sion, but with other clubs. I was contacted by Sion a couple of weeks after deciding to leave.
"I wanted to come back to France but despite a few contacts Sion convinced me".
Before joining Arsenal Fortune had never played a first-team match, signing from Lens who are currently in the second tier of French football (Ligue 2).
The striker revealed he was 'forced to leave' Lens for Arsenal but does not regret his time at the North-London club.
"At Arsenal, I learnt a lot. You do not refuse Arsenal.
"Part of me wanted to stay, the other part told me I was lucky. I was between the two".