Jack Wilshere has revealed that Unai Emery urged him to leave Arsenal following his appointment as the Gunners manager in the summer of 2018.
The English midfielder made almost 200 appearances for the north London club after breaking into the Gunners team aged just 16 under Arsene Wenger back in 2008.
The latter stages of Wilshere’s career have been littered with injury problems, and despite having made 20 league appearances in Wenger’s final season in charge in 2017-18, the midfielder ended up following the French manager out of the door at The Emirates.
Wilshere has now revealed that he was initially planning on staying at Arsenal, but his future became clear after having spoken with incoming Gunners boss Emery.
Speaking in an interview with Arsenal’s Lockdown podcast, as quoted by the London Evening Standard, Emery said: “I got offered a new deal and I wasn’t really happy with it, but Arsene was doing everything he could for me.
“We got to a point where I’d almost agreed it then the news came that Arsene was leaving, and I just thought, ‘How can I sign a new deal that is based on appearances with a manager who I don’t know?’
“When Emery came in I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him, we did and he said, ‘Basically if I were you I would leave – you’re not in my starting XI.’
“He had plans to buy a midfielder, I think he bought [Lucas] Torreira, and I wasn’t in his plans. And that was the moment that it felt like the club was going in a different direction and I decided to leave.”
Wilshere ended up signing for Premier League side West Ham United in July 2018, initially on a three-year contract.
However, he has continued to struggle with injury problems and has only made a total of six Premier League appearances for the Hammers so far this season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of the top four with a game in hand.
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