Jack Wilshere has confirmed that he will leave Arsenal when his contract finishes at the end of June.
After holding talks with new Arsenal boss Unai Emery, the 26-year-old has decided to leave the club he joined back in 2001 at the tender age of nine.
Wilshere made the announcement on Instagram, saying:
Following a number of extensive conversations with those at the club, and in particular a recent meeting with the new manager, Unai Emery, I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have due to purely footballing reasons.
My intention throughout these discussions has always been to remain an Arsenal player.
I have been on the books at Arsenal for 17 years and have always felt part of the fabric of the club.
Such was my desire to stay that I had in fact agreed to sign a financially reduced contract in order to commit my future to the club.
Here’s the statement in full…
Presumably Emery failed to assure Wilshere of a regular starting berth, something the player will have wanted in order to get himself back into the running for a place in the England set up.
However, with Arsenal closing in on a deal for Uruguayan Lucas Torreira, Wilshere was always going to struggle for a regular starting place.
Following his Instagram post, an obviously emotional Wilshere popped up this rather touching clip on Twitter which fittingly includes that wonder-goal against Norwich…
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) June 19, 2018
Ah, the memories!
Overall, Wilshere made 197 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, scoring 14 goals, providing 27 assists and becoming the youngest player ever to play for the north Londoners in league football.
Last season, Wilshere made 29 starts under Arsene Wenger and looked to be finally rediscovering his form and fitness after a number of injury-strewn years.
However, the Stevenage-born schemer will now start the new season in someone else’s colours, with the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace and Southampton all thought to be keen on the gifted player.
For your love, for your commitment and fighting spirit, for THAT Norwich goal, for the FA Cups, for the 2013/14 goal of the season, for the 2014/15 goal of the season, for the 197 appearances, for the 17 years and for just being you…
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 19, 2018
Emery certainly means business!