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."