Arsene Wenger feels Tomas Rosicky was the “perfect player for Arsenal”, despite a stop-start decade in north London.
Rosicky moved to Arsenal for an estimated £8million from Borussia Dortmund in 2006, but a string of injuries have limited him to 246 appearances in 10 years.
The Czech Republic international played just 19 minutes of first-team football this season and will become a free agent when his contract expires in June.
Nevertheless, Rosicky is in his country’s Euro 2016 squad and Wenger has come out in support of the veteran playmaker.
“He had all the football qualities to play the game we love to play here, and I would say Tomas Rosicky was the perfect player for Arsenal,” Wenger told the club’s official website.
“It will always be a frustration he didn’t play more games because first of all Tomas was an exceptional talent. I personally, like we all do here, love the player. The standing ovation he gets every time he walks out there tells you a lot.
“We love the man as well, and his attitude, and his exceptional class and qualities. It’s sad that he’s leaving, but I must say, for me it was a privilege to manage him.
“He makes it look very easy when he’s playing. He has a quality – when the ball comes to him the game suddenly becomes a bit quicker, more incisive, more mobile.”