Jack Wilshere has revealed that Arsene Wenger told him to leave Arsenal last summer.
After seeing several seasons ruined by injury, the Gunners midfielder was forced to spend last season on loan at newly promoted Bournemouth in a bid to prove his fitness. While he managed more appearances (27) for the Cherries than he had in the previous four seasons, his season was once again ended prematurely due to a fractured leg.
He returned to the Emirates in the summer and despite initially struggling for game time, has gone on to re-establish himself as a key player. However, speaking while on international duty with England, Wilshere has revealed that Arsene Wenger actually advises him to quit the club last summer:
“He said: ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contact.
“‘So if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go.’
“I was on the bike in the gym, so I didn’t leave the room. It was a strange one, because maybe part of me knew all this already – all I needed was some clarity on where I stood in the football club.
“He said I could fight for my position. And I always had confidence I could get back into the midfield if I got my fitness back and kept it – and I did that. I proved that I could get into that team.
“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.
“Obviously I was not happy with that, but at the same time I was happy he was being honest. He gave 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.”
Having becoming a regular fixture in the Arsenal side once again, he is now in talks over a new deal:
He added: “I have three months left on my contract. Ideally, yes, I want it sorted as soon as possible.
“I want to go to the World Cup and enjoy it but we have three months till then and a lot can happen. Ideally from my point-of-view and the club’s point-of-view, they will probably want it sorted.”
However, it is thought that the offer currently on the table would see him take a pay cut – something he is not prepared to do.
Everton have been linked with a move for Wilshere in recent weeks, with reports suggesting they are willing to offer him an £8m signing-on fee to move to Goodison Park on a free transfer.