Mikel Arteta has admitted that he would've rather not left Rangers after just two seasons as he thrived on the "survive or die" culture surrounding the club. 

The current Arsenal manager joined Rangers from Barcelona in March 2002 after impressing during a Champions League match against the Scottish giants while on loan at Paris Saint-Germain. 

Arteta confessed he would've probably have liked to have penned a permanent deal with PSG but after an agreement couldn't be made, Rangers swooped and the Spanish midfielder went on to win a domestic double during his first season in Glasgow. 

His second campaign also got off to a flier as he scored in each of the Light Blues' first six games. 

He would eventually leave for Real Sociedad in a £4.4million move - although he reckons, on hindsight, he jumped ship for the wrong reasons. 

"We were there (in Paris) and I had a year-and-a-half. It went really well. I wanted to stay there but when Barcelona didn't find an agreement, I had to make an early call," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

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"We had played in the UEFA Cup against Rangers and we had to go to Glasgow. I witnessed it for the first time - I went there and said 'wow, I've never seen an atmosphere like this. Look how passionate these people are.

"They came in for me straight away after that game. I said maybe it's an opportunity, my only condition is that we have to reunite my family. I said I think we've been split up for a while, it's time we get together. Let's go to Glasgow, a different experience. My sister got a job at the BBC and we all moved there.

"It was really challenging, completely different football. You have to survive or die, in that context. An amazing club, a fascinating environment, a great city and I lived games that will live with me for the rest of my life. Different worlds open up. I went there and it was a completely different world.

"Alex McLeish, a Scottish manager, completely different methods, ideas. He talked about the game in a different way. I said ‘okay I'm going to have to adapt to this’ and go to stadiums in Scotland where the style is very different, with the surface very different, the weather is very different. The value for something positive is different. It was really really healthy for me as well. That made a better player."

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Arteta chose to depart Ibrox in 2004 as he signed for Real Sociedad in hope of stopping his parents from separating.

But it turned out a bit of a "disaster" with the midfielder featuring just 15 times for the Basque outfit.

He continued: “I felt so guilty. I didn't know if that was because of me and trying to pursue my dream. I feel very responsible for that.

“I never felt that it was the right call [to move back to Spain], but I had a duty and I wanted to reconnect my parents and my family again. It was a disaster. It never worked in that sense. I never felt connected in any moment."