English Premiership

Wilshere: Wenger told me I could leave

2018-03-22 11:25
Jack Wilshere.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed that manager Arsene Wenger told him before the start of the season that he could leave the club.

The 26-year-old's contract at the Gunners is due to expire at the end of the season, but he also had an option to leave in August 2017 after a year-long loan spell at Bournemouth.

However, Wilshere insists his goal was always to return to the Emirates Stadium, after his time at the Cherries, and fight for his place in the Arsenal midfield.

"It was an honest conversation," Wilshere said, according to FourFourTwo. "It had been boiling up for a while.

"Everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and had been out on loan, got injured and wasn't really in his plans. He just said: 'At the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract so, if you can get one somewhere else, you can go'.

"All I needed was some clarity on where I stood at the football club. How did I feel after? It did make me think. He'd said I could fight for my position and, if I performed well in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, I'd have a chance.

"I had three or four weeks left in the transfer window but I didn't find anything I wanted and at the same time I wasn't really fit. So I decided to build up my fitness. I always had confidence I could get back into the midfield, and keep my place, if I was fit.

"So when the boss said I could leave, I wasn't still thinking: 'I need to get out and play games.' It was more of a case of getting fully fit and showing what I could do. When I was at Bournemouth, getting back here was always the aim. This is where I wanted to be."

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