Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed the angst that led him to abruptly leave West Ham this summer.
The 28-year-old agreed to terminate his contract with the Hammers on deadline day after making just 19 appearances following his move from the Gunners in 2018.
Wilshere spoke candidly to Sky Sports about his frustrations during his time at West Ham and what the future may hold for him now he is a free agent.
“I was probably getting to that point, if I had stayed another year, where it would have been really tough mentally to come back from,” he said.
“I’ve been speaking to my agent every couple of days. There’s been a few things that have come up and we’re still talking about it, but I’m not going to put a time on it because I want to make sure it’s right.”
Wilshere had been sidelined for lengthy periods of time during his stay at the London Stadium and was told post-lockdown he would not be part of boss David Moyes’ plans going forward, despite making a recovery from a hernia.
But Wilshere added that he maintained a strong relationship with the Hammers boss.
“I never had a fall out with him,” the midfielder said. “I was thankful to him for being honest with me.
“I’ve got a lot of friends at West Ham and it was nothing personal against them. I still speak to a lot of the players, but I just had to get out. I couldn’t spend another year not playing, especially at my age.”
Wilshere is now on the hunt for another club but in the meantime has been keeping up to speed by undergoing a personal training plan which he carries out at a local park.
A return to the top flight of English football looks off the cards, though, with the playmaker considering “something different to the Premier League”.
He added: “La Liga, Italy or Germany would be a nice change for me. Not many English players have done it.
“I always watch La Liga, it was always something I thought about. I like the league, I think it’s more technical than the English game. I think it’s somewhere I could really show what I can do.
“I don’t think I’m too young for the MLS. I think there’s been a big improvement in that league. If the right opportunity came up I’d be open to it.”
Sympathy for ‘one of the best’ Ozil
Wilshere added that he can relate to the position Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil finds himself in after the German was left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League squad.
“I was in that position,” Wilshere said. “As a footballer you want to be given the opportunity to compete and fight for your place.
“He’s one of the best players I’ve played with. All I can do is comment on him as a footballer and I know what he can give, so it does make it difficult to understand.
“But I’m not in the club, I don’t know what’s happened. I’m sure a lot of teams in England and Europe – Mesut will be the first name on the team sheet. But that’s why [Mikel] Arteta’s the manager, he makes the decisions and that’s down to him.”