Jack Wilshere says that being left out of Sam Allardyce’s first England squad was the ‘final straw’ that saw him seek a move away from Arsenal this summer.
The 24 year old joined Bournemouth a few days later, and told the Daily Mail that the lack of England recognition, along with a competitive environment at Arsenal, made his mind up to go somewhere else to play regularly.
“There were a lot of midfielders and the manager brought another one in,” he said. “I’d been injured for a while, and I was thinking I was at a stage of my career where I needed to play.
“I’m 24 and I’ve already missed too much football, and if I want to get to where I want to be it’d be no good coming off the bench in every game.”
And on his omission from the squad he said, “It was the final straw. It hurt not being in there.”
Revealing how the move to the south-coast came about, he said, “It was the Monday and the transfer window was closing on the Wednesday so we didn’t have long to sort something out. But I’d decided that I couldn’t have a season where I’m not starting.
“I spoke to the boss and he said, “You will play”. But I wanted more than that. I want to play week in, week out, be an important player for the team.
‘I’m at my best when I’m playing regularly, when people are relying on me and I’m an important member of the team. I said to the boss, ‘You know what kind of player I am, what type of character I am, I need to play, it would be best if I leave’.”
While you can understand his desire to play, the idea that he should start every week for Arsenal after such a patchy injury record was fanciful.
It was up to him to play himself in contention, perhaps it would have required some patience, but today – with others injured and suspended – is a day when his chance would have come.
It remains to be seen things will go, but it does feel as if Wilshere has one foot well and truly out of the door at this stage.