Jack Wilshere was in contract talks with his former club Arsenal before the arrival of Unai Emery and looked set to sign a new deal.
The West Ham United midfielder left Arsenal in 2018 but described the time for his departure as a sad one insisting that there were ongoing talks to extend his deal with the Gunners.
Prior to the end of Arsene Wenger’s tenure as the manager of the Gunners, the 28-year-old looked to have discovered his form leading to the club offering him a lucrative deal that could come into play as long as he stays injury-free.
Wilshere was looking to sign his deal at the end of the season but a change of manager with the Spaniard coming in meant that the midfielder’s time was up – as he told Wilshere he was no part of his plans.
“I got offered a new deal at Arsenal,” Wilshere said in an interview with West Ham’s club website while explaining his departure from Arsenal.
“I obviously had a year left and even into January I was playing in the team and there were still no discussions happening. Then finally the discussions happened. I got offered a new deal and I wasn’t really happy with it.
“I’d have conversations with Arsene and he was doing all he could for me. We sort of got to the point where we’d almost agreed it and I was almost ready to sign.
“Then the news came that Arsene was leaving and I just thought: ‘How can I sign a new deal at a club that is based on appearances? I need to play to get a decent amount of money with a manager who I don’t know if he likes me’.
“I wanted to see who was going to come in and then when Emery did come in I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him.
“He said to me: ‘If I was you I would leave, you’re not in my starting XI’. He had plans to buy a midfield, I think he bought [Lucas] Torreira and a few others and I wasn’t in his plans. That was the moment when I decided.
“A lot of people who I’d grown up with, the staff, the physios, my friends basically [had left] – it felt like the club was going in a different direction and I decided to leave.
“I was part of Arsenal, it’s a massive club and I was a big part of it, it was difficult. It was a sad time to leave and even now I look back and think: ‘Yeah, that was a tough time’.”