Jack Wilshere has said he would not have joined West Ham had it not been for the departure of Arsene Wenger from Arsenal, claiming his former manager would have ensured his place in the Gunners’ first team.
The 26-year-old midfielder joined West Ham on a three-year deal in July, ending his 17-year association with Arsenal in the aftermath of Wenger’s departure.
And Wilshere has said that Unai Emery’s arrival as head coach altered his prospects in north London and convinced him it was time for a change.
“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.”