Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has claimed that he would have remained at his boyhood club this summer had Arsene Wenger remained as the side's manager.
The England international, who joined the Arsenal academy at the age of nine, parted ways with the Gunners after receiving no assurances from new manager Unai Emery that he would be part of the first-team plans at the club.
Speaking to the Islington Gazette, the West Ham midfielder said: "If Arsene had stayed I would have stayed because of the influence he had in my career and the trust he had in me. He gave me the armband and respected me a lot.
"So I had pretty much agreed to stay. And then he left and that changed things. Arsene said to me previously 'stay and fight your way back into the team' - because I knew Arsene and knew he had trust in me, I knew I could do that and fight my way into the team.
"I knew that if I got myself fit and was training well that Arsene would put me in - and he did.
"But things were changing at the club and they were going into a new era and maybe it was time for me as well."
The Hammers midfielder has been out of action since picking up an ankle injury against Wolves last month, and after suffering a setback in his rehabilitation, will remain side-lined until November.