By 90Min
August 12, 2018

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has described how the exit of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger came as a shock last season, and how it directly impacted his decision to move away from the club this summer.

Speaking with BBC programme Football Focus, quoted by Football London, he said that everything changed at Arsenal, including for him personally, after Wenger's sacking.

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According to Wilshere, Arsenal had previously told him last year that he would not be offered a new deal following the conclusion of his current one. The 26-year-old had a difficult past few seasons with injury problems, and spent time on loan at Bournemouth in order to get back to playing regular competitive football.

He told Football Focus: "I was in the last year of my contract, and I spoke with the manager at the time, Arsene Wenger, and he said that they won't be offering me a new deal and that I could leave.

"But at the time I was injured and it was difficult, because I wasn't fit and I wasn't playing, and not many teams wanted me injured."

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After managing to get back to fitness, however, Wilshere was offered the chance to stay longer at Arsenal in January - only for manager Wenger to be sacked and change the situation dramatically.

He added: "So I decided to stay and I got back into the team and they finally offered me a deal in January which was ready to sign, and then Arsene got sacked.

"It was strange, everyone was just shocked and Per Mertesacker, the captain, said a few words, and I think everyone was just in shock. No-one really saw it coming, but it changed everything, and I wanted to wait to speak to the new manager. And I did, and he was brilliant, he was honest with me."

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New boss Unai Emery made it clear to Wilshere that while he could still stay he would struggle to be a part of his new starting lineup, and so the 26-year-old made the difficult decision to part with the club this summer after spending 17 years there.

"He said you can stay, but you won't be in my starting XI, so I thought it was the right time to finally leave."

Wilshere joined fellow London club West Ham this summer.

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