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Wilshere: “If Wenger had stayed I would have stayed at Arsenal”

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Jack Wilshere revealed that Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal in the summer led to his own exit

The 26-year-old midfielder signed for West Ham United on a three-year deal in July as a free agent after ending a 17-year association at Arsenal.

Wilshere opted to leave the Emirates Stadium following talks with new manager Unai Emery over his role at the club.

But Wilshere admits that Wenger would have convinced him to stay with the Gunners as the Frenchman would have ensured his place in the team.

“If Arsene had stayed I would have stayed because of the influence he had in my career and the trust he had in me,” Wilshere told the Islington Gazette.

“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 had 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 to leave as well.”

Wilshere, who has made four Premier League starts for West Ham, is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.