Jack Wilshere: How Arsene Wenger told me I could leave Arsenal
The Arsenal star reveals his honest conversation with Arsene Wenger last summer
Jack Wilshere has lifted the lid on his honest conversation with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger about his future last summer.
The England international returned to the Arsenal squad ahead of the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season following his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Wilshere made two assists in 25 appearances in the Premier League for the Cherries last season after he decided to leave the Gunners to get regular first-team football.
Arsenal signed Granit Xhaka in a £33m deal in the 2016 summer transfer window to further congest Wilshere’s route to Wenger’s starting line up.
Wilshere was given the option to leave Arsenal last summer but the England midfielder opted to knuckle down and fight for his future at the north London club.
The 26-year-old has since won back his place in the Gunners team following a series of impressive performances in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.
Wilshere revealed that Wenger spoke to the Englishman in an honest manner about his prospects at the north London side while the midfielder was excerising on the bike at the club’s gym.
“It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“We have known each other long enough where we can have that relationship where we are honest with each other.
“It was boiling up for a while because everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and I had been out on loan, got injured, and wasn’t really in his plans.
“He said, ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract, so if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go’.
“Obviously I was not happy with that, but at the same time I was happy he was being honest.
“He gave me the opportunity with three or four weeks left in the transfer window, but I did not find anything that I wanted and at the same time I was not really fit, so I decided that I wanted to stay and build up my fitness.
“He also said at the same time that if I did stay I had an opportunity to fight for my place, and if I performed well in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, I had a chance.”
Wilshere’s current Arsenal contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
The Arsenal star has scored two goals and has made three assists in 31 appearances in all competitions this term.