Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has revealed the finer details of his conversation with Jack Wilshere which influenced the 26-year-old to leave the club.
The England international had been at the north London club since the age of nine, but left the Gunners last month to join West Ham United on a free transfer after Emery could not guarantee him first-team football at the Emirates Stadium next season.
“The conversation with Wilshere was a very good conversation. I explained to him my opinion and how I wanted to create the team, and I wasn’t sure he was going to play in the 11 players.”
– Unai Emery on his conversation with Jack Wilshere, which resulted in Jack’s departure pic.twitter.com/nxgsVqg1Sv
— ArsenalFanTV (@ArsenalFanTV) July 13, 2018
And Emery, who took over from legendary boss Arsene Wenger in May of this year, told the official club website, “the conversation with Wilshere was a very good conversation, very directly, together.
“I explained to him my opinion and how I wanted to create the team, and I wasn’t sure he was going to play in the 11 players.”
Wilshere had become a fan favourite at Arsenal, making 197 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners in a ten-year spell between 2008 and 2018. During this time, he won two back-to-back FA Cups in 2014 and 2015 and earned the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2011.
And new boss Emery understood Wilshere’s connection with the Arsenal fanbase, and explained that decision to part company was difficult for both sides.
“He explained to me that the decision was not easy for him, but he wanted to choose the best option for him, and every time it is with respect.
“I know this player is important here for the supporters and he grew up here in Arsenal, but I can’t guarantee him a place in the starting line-up. It was a tactical, technical decision”.
Despite enduring a injury-plagued career in North London, Wilshere made 20 league appearances for Arsenal last season, and also made 13 Europa League appearances for the Gunners as they reached the semi-final of the competition.
And if he remains fit for the start of the season, he will be in line to play on his return to the Emirates Stadium on 27th August, when West Ham visit Arsenal in the Premier League.