Can you sum up the importance of the game?
I think we already know the importance of that game. The pressure that we have for winning the semi final. We know the importance of that semi final, not only for us, for our fans, our family and our club, but it’s just football. We have to enjoy to play that kind of games. Every player grows up imagining they can play that sort of games. We have now and we have to take it.
Do you wish you could have supporters back to help you?
It’s a game that we enjoy with fans. We can enjoy more those kind of games with fans. It’s not ideal atmosphere without fans, but it is what it is. We have to play with that and we have to be focused on our game.
How much do the club need unity right now?
Yeah at the end they took a decision in the last week. I’m not the guy who has to take that responsibility to talk about those things. At the end I respect if the owners take the decision thinking about the best way to protect the club. At the end they see the power of football and the fans can change everything. The best thing of them I think was they came the next day to apologise to everybody. We have to go forward together. At the end I want to say that we go together.
Were Villarreal your team growing up?
Yeah of course. For me I grow in Valencia. I supported Villarreal and Valencia. They are the two teams in my city. You think I want to one time play for them. When you grow you grow with that dream. I’m really glad to be here to fight for Arsenal for that semi final and it’s going to be special for me.
Are your friends or family backing you or them?
At the moment they don’t want to support them tomorrow! They have to support me. It’s going to be special tomorrow.
How pleased were you to see Villarreal having recent success?
I have to say that Villarreal is a big club as well in my city. The owners they are doing the right things in the last couple of years. In my opinion they have a really strong academy. So I’m really glad for them because they are doing the right things. That tells you that they are doing good things.
Are you settled now after your earlier injuries?
Yes. I had some issues in the last year. Most of the time you don’t want to pass that kind of moments but you never know when it can happen to you an injury or something. I think I’m really fit, I feel really strong in the team and I want only to give to the coach the confidence he gave to me the first day.
Do you feel the defence is coming together?
At the end this is my first objective. I have to give everything for the team that we don’t concede a goal. Then after that is to play good football for me.
Have the protests been a distraction?
No, of course no. We have to be focused on our game. When we play every game we don’t think in the atmosphere or to other things. I’m really happy to see that the fans really care about Arsenal and they have to show what is their opinion. They changed a lot of ideas that a lot of owners take a year ago or a few years ago.
Were the players happy with the ESL decision?
No. I have to tell you again it’s not my responsibility to talk about that. I only want to be focused on the game tomorrow.
Great to have Tierney back in the squad?
Yes of course if we have all the players in our squad ready it’s better. But at the end all the fit players for tomorrow we are ready to do it. We have all the commitment that we have to know what we can do tomorrow.
How is Aubameyang after the last few weeks?
Yeah we are all supporting him. When he was in the hospital everybody supported him to give him a lot of love.
What would winning the Europa League do for Arsenal?
I think it’s everything. If we speak about our season we are right in a moment that we worked so hard to arrive here. We win it we passed to the next level. All the season is about now. It’s what it is it’s a semi final and we are in the Europa League and we have to win.
How is your relationship with Mikel Arteta?
Well my relation with the coach for me is really good since I came here. After one year I can tell you that happened. I’m really glad to be here I’m really glad to be his football player. Not only in games not only in training. I’m here to give all the confidence that they gave to me in the first
Do you speak about life outside of football?
We speak about everything. We speak about our life our kids. About Spain about the weather. It’s a good relation between us and I want to keep it like that till the end
Do you prefer to play with one settled partner in defence?
If I’m honest with you when you play a lot of games in a row it’s more easy for you as a football player. So difficult I have to tell you but if you are professional and you love that sport you have to do it. I think I did well and it’s because every day I worked really hard to do it. I love to be here.
What does the manager demand from you?
At the end I’m a left footed player when we do the build up. When we have the ball it’s more easy in my side to create the situations. In my case it’s not just the build up I have experience I’ve been in other clubs, I’ve won a lot.
What kind of game are you expecting tomorrow?
First of all we know how important the game is tomorrow. We know who we’re up against. Villarreal have been doing great things for a long time now. Let’s not forget that they have a very strong squad with international players. They have a world champion in their ranks too. In my eyes as a player I think it’s going to be a very fascinating game to watch. We need to remember it’s not just a 90 minute game it’s a 180 minute tie.
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What do you make of Paco Alcacer?
I think we’re up against one of the best strike partnerships in Spain. Gerard Moreno is doing fantastically. Paco is doing great work too. We’re going to be very alert to the movement. I’m sure they’re going to try to do everything they can to score goals. I think it’s going to be a very fascinating game.
What do you make of the tie? Is it OK that the Super League news has come out before?
No I don’t think so. I think we really need to be completely focused on the game tomorrow. I don’t think we’re the ones to speak about this. People have come out to speak about the Super League. Then everything that happens outside the pitch that’s responsibility of other people.