Ismaël Bennacer has revealed that he left Arsenal for two reasons.
The midfielder, who signed for Serie B side Empoli over the summer, not only saw more of a chance of getting first team football if he left Arsenal, but he also wanted to improve tactically. The 19-year-old figured that a country like Italy was the best place for this.
“After Tours, I didn’t especially think about returning to France, but mostly to go to a club where I could express my qualities and that wanted to play more as much as possible,” the Algerian international told DZ Foot. “Plus, I felt my game needed improving tactically, and coming to Italy allows me to learn a lot about that.”
He added, “I only have positive things to say about my time at Arsenal. I was able to continue my development at a very structured club. It allowed me to have a professional formation and I needed that step. I regret nothing from my time there. I learned a lot. I just knew I needed to leave as I didn’t have my spot in the first-team.”
Bennacer signed for Arsenal from Arles in 2015 and made his debut for the first team in October when he was brought on for Theo Walcott during a League Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday. Yeah, the one we lost 3-0 and managed to injury two of our forwards during.
During the second half of last season, after he’d made 12 Premier League 2 appearances with the reserves, the teenager was sent out on loan to Ligue 1 side Tours. And, from what he says, it seems as if this was the final straw.
Hunger for success is beneficial for footballers, especially youngsters trying to get ahead. However, sometimes the line between hunger and impatience can become blurred. While I would understand Bennacer jumping ship if he’s been on the fringes of the first team for years, he had only been at the club for two seasons.
Either way, it’s good that he’s enjoying his football at Empoli. He’s made 14 appearances so far.