Fabregas Arsenal’s biggest loss, believes Wilshere

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes the departure of Cesc Fabregas for Barcelona hurt the current Premier League leaders more than the loss of Robin van Persie, who joined Manchester United, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Fabregas left the Emirates Stadium to return to Barcelona, the club for whom he played before switching to the Gunners as a teenager. Wilshere feels the loss of Fabregas was damaging to the club and to him as a player, as he had modelled himself on the Spain international. “The one I was really upset about leaving was Fabregas, I learned so much from just watching him,” Wilshere told Arsenal’s official website.

I was the most upset about him leaving,” Wilshere added. The England midfielder went on to praise the purchase of Mesut Ozil, claiming the former Real Madrid playmaker is well-suited to the Arsenal approach. “[Ozil has] settled in nicely. His first game away at Sunderland he got an assist and was man of the match,” Wilshere said.

He plays the Arsenal way and I think there’s a lot more to come. He’s so comfortable on the ball, right foot, left foot. If you look at his stats he runs the most, he makes it look easy but that only masks how hard he works.

Wilshere also praised the way in which manager Arsene Wenger handled his early career, thanking him for his patience and revealing that he now feels like something of a young veteran. “I feel like I’ve been around for a long time now, I should be used to playing week in, week out,” he said.

I’m 21 but in football age I’m a bit older than that. I’ve got a few years’ experience and hopefully that can help me, so I’m looking forward to the next three to four years.

Wilshere has helped Arsenal into a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after 12 games, with Liverpool and Chelsea – in second and third respectively – at the head of the chasing pack. Arsenal are also top of their Champions League group but with one round of games to play, have yet to seal qualification.

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