Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says the possibility of enjoying first-team football elsewhere was the reason why he let Petr Cech leave the club.
The Portuguese insists that his desire was always to keep the 33-year-old at Stamford Bridge but also that he wanted to respect the wishes of the Czech International who opted to leave after 11 years to join rivals Arsenal.
Cech became Arsenal's first summer signing after signing a four-year contract after his £10m move from Chelsea.
"I always said I wanted him to stay," Mourinho told Chelsea's official website.
"I understand Petr needed to move on to play first team football every week.
"Sometimes you have to respect the wishes of someone who has earned so much respect with his service and actions for your club.
"I support the owner's decision to honour the player in this way.
"It is very rare in football to make a decision like this and for that reason I am proud of my club for making it.
"There are not many clubs in the world big enough to be able to make that decision.
"Petr's success at this club will always to be remembered and we thank him for everything he did."