Promising defender Zech Medley has shared an emotional farewell message to Arsenal and their fans after a permanent transfer to K.V. Oostende was confirmed earlier today.
Medley joined his boyhood club in December 2016 from rivals Chelsea, with the centre-back going on to captain the Under-18s side before becoming an important player at Under-23s level.
The 20-year-old has taken to Instagram to write that the opportunity to play at Arsenal allowed him to ‘live a dream’ he’s had since he was a child.
Medley, who will leave in a deal that includes a sell-on clause and first refusal option per Football.London, adds that he’s made ‘brothers for life’ before thanking everyone at the club.
The 6ft5 defender spent last season on loan at Gillingham and Kilmarnock and has now landed a move that should bring regular first-team football as he looks to progress in his professional career.
Medley admits that the ‘time has come’ to ‘start a new chapter’ but the defender insists that he will ‘always have love’ for Arsenal and signed off with the historic ‘once a gooner’ saying.
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) June 21, 2021
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“In the last 5 years God had blessed me with an opportunity to live a dream I’ve had since I was kid!”
“During this time I’ve been able to make brothers for life and memories I’m certain I’ll never forget.”
“I would like to thank everyone involved at Arsenal for the amazing journey and learning experiences I’ve had to make me into player I am today and especially my family who have been there for me every single step of the way.”
“But now the time has come for me to move on in my career and start a new chapter. I will always have love for this club the same way I did when I was growing up! All the best in the future! Once a gooner.”
Arsenal added in their own farewell statement that Medley ‘regularly trained’ with the first-team during his time at the club, which brought three appearances for the senior team as a substitute.
Medley made 18 appearances in the first-half of this season with Gillingham but fell out-of-favour in December and subsequently made a loan switch to Kilmarnock in January.
The former England youth international made 10 appearances for Kilmarnock, featuring exclusively at left-back after appearing at left-back on quite a few occasions at Gillingham.
A transfer to Oostende marks an opportunity for Medley that is expected to bring regular first-team football which will help the defender develop, the decision to leave Arsenal seems a smart one considering the plethora of options they have at centre-back at both youth and senior level.