Benayoun: I was calm on deadline day

Yossi Benayoun says he always expected his future to be decided on the final day of the transfer window.

Football News: Yossi Benayoun

Benayoun also revealed he held talks with former club Liverpool before joining Arsenal on loan.

The Israeli midfielder linked up with the Gunners on a season-long deal from Chelsea on deadline day as Arsene Wenger sought to fill the void created by the sales of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Benayoun, who only joined Chelsea from Liverpool in 2010, has dismissed suggestions that he was a panic signing for Wenger in response to the 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United.

The 31-year-old was being chased by several clubs and says the reason for the seemingly dramatic nature of his signing was that he had to wait for Chelsea to secure a replacement before he would be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.

"The media thought it was dramatic, but I knew it would go to the last day," said Benayoun, who started his first game for Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

"There was an agreement between me and Chelsea that we would wait until then because they wanted to bring in another player - either [Raul] Meireles or [Luka] Modric.

"I first heard about the interest from Arsenal eight days before the end of the window and when I knew they wanted me it was an easy choice.

"I had a few good options from clubs in England and outside. There was a few talks with Liverpool. A few teams but as soon as I heard about Arsenal my mind was made up.

"Deadline day was calm for me. I flew in from Israel in the morning, from the national team, and knew it was going to happen."

Benayoun was satisfied with Arsenal's result in Dortmund and is now hoping to take the performance into Saturday's Premier League game against Blackburn Rovers.

He added: "I think it was a good start for us in the competition. We were unlucky because they scored a lovely goal at the end, but we need to be happy with the point.

"We had a good performance and hopefully we can take confidence from this and build for Blackburn.

"I want to improve my understanding with the team but I think there's plenty of quality in this team so we'll quickly understand each other and be better."



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