Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he considered leaving Arsenal earlier this year and has had “ good opportunities ” elsewhere.
The Gunners captain was heavily linked with a departure from the Emirates before deciding to sign a new three-year deal in recent weeks.
Asked about a potential exit, he told Sky Sports: “I was thinking about it to tell you the truth because I had some good opportunities as well.
“But that feeling of being here – the love of the fans and the whole club – I’m not sure that when I leave I’m getting the same love, that’s why I’m staying.
“I’m really proud to be the captain but it’s not the most important factor in staying. Sure, it’s a great job to do, but it wasn’t part of me staying here.
The 31-year-old has worn Arsenal in recent seasons and the club are embarking on a fourth straight campaign without Champions League football.
However, things look different under Mikel Arteta, and the Gunners have started the 2020/21 campaign with back-to-back wins, adding to recent FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs.
“Two things persuaded me to stay,” Aubameyang added. “The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since his arrival he has brought us a lot of positivity and a new philosophy.
“I think it was important because it matched my game and I feel like I can improve with it. I think that was the key factor and also the love that I get from the fans and the whole club.
“Everyone treats me very, very well, so I feel at home and that’s why I’m staying.
“We had a conversation during the lockdown and we were supposed to talk about a game and he said ‘okay, forget about it, we’re going to talk about the future’ and he asked me what I wanted to do.
“I was like ‘I feel good since you came, I’m improving, and the philosophy is very, very nice so I just wanna stay’ and he was like ‘I’m sure if you stay you can. leave a legacy, but it’s all up to you and what you want. Of course, you can also go out and pick up trophies from big clubs, but I think you can create a legacy here at this big club.
“That was the key message for me and after that conversation I was like ‘okay, everything is clear to me and I just want to stay’ and that’s it.