Jack Wilshere has admitted that he regrets letting his anger get the better of him when he decided to leave Arsenal for West Ham.
Wilshere joined the Hammers on a three-year contract in July 2018 following Unai Emery’s appointment to take over from Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager.
The midfielder had struggled with injuries during the latter stages of his Gunners career and opted to join the Hammers after Emery made it clear he would not be in his starting XI.
It proved to be the beginning of a sharp decline in Wilshere’s career, with the 29-year-old ending his contract with West Ham by mutual consent 12 months before the end of his deal, having started just six league games.
He joined Bournemouth in January but was released at the end of the 2020/21 season and currently finds himself without a club.
With the benefit of hindsight, Wilshere now recognises his mistake in hastily moving on from the club three years ago.
“Honestly, I should have never left,” he toldThe Athletic.
“That’s nothing against West Ham — it could have been anyone — but I shouldn’t have left Arsenal.
“I had a conversation with Arsene when I came back from Bournemouth [following a 2016/17 loan, with 12 months left on his Arsenal terms].
“He said, ‘Look, you can leave. You’re not going to get a new contract here’. Knowing Arsene the way I knew him and how much he rated me as a footballer, I knew if I got myself fit there were lots of games and I could get myself into that team.
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“I wish I had that same mentality when I sat down with Emery and he said, ‘Look, there’s a contract on the table but you’re not in my starting XI’.
“I remember walking out angry, because I thought I was going to play — I proved myself the year before.
“I probably made a few rash decisions. I rang my agent and said, ‘That’s it, we need to leave’.
“I should have taken a few days, calmed down and thought to myself again, ‘I look around this midfield and back myself to get in’.”
Wilshere was once a fan-favourite with the Gunners.
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He came through the club’s academy and, after spending time on loan with Bolton and Bournemouth, made 197 appearances for Arsenal over a 10-year spell in the first team.
Wilshere helped Arsenal win two FA Cups and was the team’s player of the year in 2010/11, while also featuring in the Premier League’s team of the season that year.
Having left Bournemouth he is currently a free agent and is yet to receive any concrete offers for the 2021/22 season.
“I’d be lying if I said I’m not concerned,” he admitted.” “Of course I’m concerned.”
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