Silvestre eyes regular role
Mikael Silvestre hopes his transfer to Arsenal will present him with first-team chances this term.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 21/08/08 4:52pm
Mikael Silvestre hopes his transfer to Arsenal from Manchester United will present him with more first-team opportunities this season.
The French defender secured a shock move to Emirates Stadium on Wednesday for an undisclosed fee, penning a two-year deal.
Silvestre spent the majority of last campaign at Old Trafford on the sidelines through injury, but is now looking to push for a regular playing role at his new club.
"I am very glad to be here and it is an honour to finally sign for Arsenal," the 31-year-old told Arsenal TV.
"It was a big surprise, but a very good surprise in the end. I left United especially because I didn't want to spend anymore time on the bench.
"I was looking for a new challenge and when Arsenal come you cannot say no. Hopefully I can look forward to a fresh start without any injuries."
Meanwhile, United centre-back Nemanja Vidic has admitted he was shocked to hear that Silvestre had completed a switch to the Premier League champions' rivals.
"It surprised me. In fact I think it has come as a surprise to everyone," he said.
"It is not often a player leaves one big club to go to another like Arsenal or Liverpool. It does not tend to happen.
"But Mikael did not play much last year and I think he just wanted to go somewhere where he would, so in that sense I am happy for him.
"Mikael has given so much to this club. I am just surprised he is going to Arsenal. But he has made the choice."