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The midfielder confessed there plenty of teams interested in him at the end of last season but “never imagined” he would move to England.
However, one phone call from Emery changed it all.
Following Uruguay’s exit from the World Cup the Gunners didn’t waste any time snapping up the midfielder, securing him on a £22million deal.
“I never imagined coming here to England because it was mainly Italian clubs being mentioned.
“Before I left for the World cup I got a call from the coach which was a massive surprise for me. I knew that I had earned it because of all my hard work and everything that I had done. That phone call made me a happy man.
“It allowed me to relax too because it allowed me to focus all my attention on the national team and the World Cup. I’m so proud to be part of such an important team.”