He told The Sun: “In the past Togo was quite a good place to live and of course I still love it now. But it is a little difficult as, politically, it is not stable.
“To tell you the truth, I’d probably be a gangster if I weren’t a footballer. Most of my friends from when I was young are bad boys.
“They roam my home city of Lome. They drink too much, smoke drugs and are involved in crime.
“But that is life in some parts of Africa. It is so different to other parts of the world and you have to accept that.
“You have to enjoy life. Some footballers forget how lucky they are. It is a wonderful lifestyle.
“At Arsenal, the players are a very nice bunch. I am so lucky.
“But elsewhere, many players have forgotten where they have come from and where they are going to.
“They have their money and they think that is life. They need reminding what they were doing when they were 15. That they weren’t going to nice restaurants.
“Growing up, it was always the same food. Mum would prepare yam, which is like mashed potato, and that would be it.
“We’d have it for dinner, the following lunchtime and then dinner again. I still eat it here in London. My girlfriend Charity cooks it – but we don’t eat it every day!
“Because if I was like some of those footballers I was talking about, I would rather put a gun in my head. Unfortunately, you cannot tell them to change.”