Wilshere: Wenger told me I could go


Jack Wilshere has revealed that Arsene Wenger told him last summer that he was free to leave Arsenal as the club were not willing to offer him a contract at that time.

The midfielder was recovering from a broken leg suffered while on loan at Bournemouth, and the manager suggested that he was not in his plans for the upcoming season.

The circumstances and the injury meant he didn’t leave, and until now the 26 year old has made 31 appearances after playing his way back into first team contention.

However, his contract situation remains an ongoing issue, with both player and club seemingly at a stalemate.

Speaking about the conversation with Wenger last summer, Wilshere said, “It was an honest conversation.

“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.’

“Obviously I wasn’t happy with what the manager had said but, at the same time, part of me knew all this already.

“All I needed was some clarity on where I stood at the football club. 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.”

Wilshere has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, insisting last week he was no closer to agreeing to the terms of offer from Arsenal, with Wenger suggesting the club had gone as far as it was willing to go in that regard.

The England international, back in the fold for the first time since 2016, says he would like his future sorted before the World Cup, and that he’s committed to helping the Gunners achieve success in the Europa League, but more and more his departure feels inevitable.

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Walcott's left footed curl

I think Wenger was probably correct in his assessment. From what I understand, Wilshere did okay at Bournemouth. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’d ask me if I wanted to sign any other okay performing Bournemouth players I’d say no. But telling Wilshere he can go with three-four weeks to go of the window and not bringing anyone else in, with the state our midfield is in is just ludacris and once again shows the fault in our transfer policy.


I think it shows how much wheeling and dealing is required by the board before the manager is allowed to make new signings.


I gave you a +. But also consider that telling Wilshere some weeks before the end of the deadline may also have been so that Arsenal would have had time to bring someone in if they received an offer for Wilshere. So it wouldnt be so last minute and we could pursue other targets knowing our wage bill better.

believe me

you are totally wrong about wenger, and you no nothing about arsenal, jack is our best player, and he deserves all the respect he gets, the way wenger treats jack is an absolute disgrace

‘Tis Me

No I won’t ‘believe you’ Brexit Barry. You are wrong.


Just about the best thing Jack did for Arsenal in recent years was shouting from the bus.

Wenger's Smirk

Hard to take someone seriously when the difference between “know” and “no” is ignored.

Cliff Bastin

Earlier in the season it felt like a Wilshere extension was way more likely than an Ozil extension. The fact that Ozil signed months ago and Wilshere still hasn’t, gives me the feeling that Jack is gone.

Jack but

Honestly, given his present form, I would rather have wenger sold than let Wilshire go..


So an above average at best, fragile, midfielder who failed to fulfill his teenage promise couldn’t attract any clubs. Why should we do the same, unless the contract’s terms are suitably drafted?

Cannon and Ball and Arse’n’all

I do agree, and whilst he has proved his fitness and some form this season, I don’t feel it is enough to offer him a big deal. I think we have learned from the Walcott situation and I am pleased that the club are standing firm on an incentive based deal.. This seems fair for both parties, but I guess with the inflation in football it doesn’t feel fair to Jack Wilshire’s agent


What have you learned from the Walcott situation that applies here? Genuinely curious

Cannon and Ball and Arse’n’all

The lesson learned from Walcott, is don’t give in to outrageous wage demands on a long term contract for a player that has an inconsistent fitness/form record over a sustained period.. We crumbled and gave him £130k a week just for the sake of retaining his services.. Our injury record is improving and we seem to be clearing out those that we cannot rely on, and perhaps very unfortunately Wilshire belongs in that bracket

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Above average at best called by England anytime he is fit. England does have good midfielders and he always prevails.


Don’t mistake the EPL for the national team.


Would be a big mistake letting him go in my opinion. Really Wilshere is the best real midfield player we have in the team. Unlike Ramsey who plays second striker and leaves Xhaka alone and Ozil who offers nothing else than assists. Wilshere can actually do what a player in that position is supposed to do. There is a reason why Xhaka has become much better now that Wilshere is in the team. It’s because he actually has someone to pass the ball to. Also why wouldnt he want more money? I mean Ozil makes 350k a week. Is Ozil… Read more »


Judging by your comment it looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree on Ozil for plenty of reasons. But just on the idea of him being ‘3x better’, well it’s hard to be that precise, but yes, it should be plain to see there’s a clear gap in quality between the two players. It’s clear we’re a far worse team with Ozil absent than we are with an Elneny (and hopefully an upgrade on him in the Summer) taking Wilshere’s position. Think the majority of us have an attachment to Wilshere, but I just don’t agree that he’s anywhere… Read more »

Arsenal Fan

More imptly, pay to skill ratio does not scale linearly.


And who cares about what the club pays players? I just don’t get it. Its not our money. The club froze ticket prices and subsidize away seats.

The pay to skill ratio is just post-hoc, subjective excuse making. The market is what it is.


I mean, we’ve essentially been playing without Wilshere for a long time, with his injuries and been fine.


I’m really tired of seeing this “Ramsey plays as a striker” meme. How about you actually watch the games for once.


Liking Wilshere doesn’t mean you have to hate on Ramsey. It’s not binary. Leave Welsh Jesus out of this.

Cannon and Ball and Arse’n’all

You are right – but in this situation I do get the impression that we are putting all of our contract eggs in the Welsh Jebus basket.. With only a year left Ramsey will be getting a big new offer on the table, and he is worth it in my opinion. If we give Wilshire a big new deal then does that mean we cannot offer Rambo the terms that we probably need to in order to keep him? My feeling is that we won’t keep both of them, and if it costs us Wilshire and perhaps the promotion of… Read more »


“Ozil who offers nothing else than assists”. He is currently the fastest player to achieve 50 assists, and that is (for most parts) with Giroud & Welbeck as our main strikers. I think you’re a TAD BIT downplaying his ability there.

Teryima Adi

Ozil is awesome.

A Different George

Ozil and Jack are entirely different types of players; why would the fact that Ozil is much better (which I believe he is) have any bearing on whether to keep Jack or not?

Scott P

You can’t have an assist without a goal!

Mesut O'Neill

I’m sure most of his assists were to Sachez


Totally agree. Its not a coincidence that the side looks better with Wilshere playing. The negatively on here for him is indicative of FIFA video gamers who apparently don’t watch all that much actual, live football. Letting Wishere go, when midfield wise Arsenal is light makes no sense. People whinge about “not Arsenal class” players and yet are happy to keep the El Neny, Xhaka, and that. Jack is step above both. Ozil can’t shouldn’t play every game – both he and Mhky need a break. Wilshere has played superbly this term. He’s maintained his fitness – and yet, that’s… Read more »


Completely agree also. Wilshere isn’t just some above-average throw-away midfielder, he is a rare generational talent that outplayed Xavi aged 19. He mixes English grit with continental technique and you could bet if it wasn’t for injuries he would be one of the most valuable players in the country. It’s not as if he’s on the scrap heap already, he’s 26 for god’s sake and it’s no coincidence the team have played much better with him in the midfield. Arsenal would be mad to let him go, soon this club will be full of the kind of mercenary types at… Read more »


The reality though is even if Jack was a generational talent – and people forget Pep’s comment that the Barca reserve side had a lot of players like Jack – he never developed into a world class talent. It’s not fair to Jack or to Arsenal to keep basing our view of him on one game over 7 years ago.


Don’t you guys realize that when the biggest argument for his quality is the fact that he played very good in a game against Barcelona about a decade ago, it’s rather the best argument why we shouldn’t offer him huge wages?


The first half of your comment sounds like you are stuck in a time warp of 7 years ago.


>Its not a coincidence that the side looks better with Wilshere playing.

No. Jack started most of the time when we were at our worst period (Arsenal only won 11 games out of 23 when he started and most of the wins are against european league and carabao cup opposition). Not saying that we were playing like shit because him. It’s just he’s nowhere as influental as people make him to be.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Totally agree with you including the Ozil part that got got you so many downvotes.

Harish P

Maybe the issue here is that Arsenal aren’t sure if Wilshire will stay fit? While we as fans are generally attached to him and he is to Arsenal, there’s no denying he has a bad history when it comes to a consistent run of games. We don’t know if this current, wonderful run will stay as the norm of if his legs will give away during the world cup, taking him out for another two years. They already have just simply dumped money in his account for very little football at Arsenal since his last renewal. How can Arsenal assume… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

Wilshere is a special player but could we do better in that position?


Wilshere is a better player than Xhaka in my opinion and yet Xhaka is undroppable to Wenger. He’s free, why let him go when you know you’re not going to replace him. Although he’s not turned out to be what we thought he would I think letting go of one of the few players with genuine technical and passing ability would be a big mistake. Our defence is the most uncomfortable on the ball ive ever seen at Arsenal, our midfield positional and defensive awareness is really poor, losing a player with metronomic capabilities such as Wilshire for free is… Read more »


Don’t think Wilshere and Xhaka are similar on any level. Jack is mobile, takes on players, has quick feet and is a risk taker. Xhaka is more powerful and a deeper lying midfielder. Both technically good but both offer the midfield a different option. You can’t rely on Jack to sit back play that role, forget his few appearances for England against ridiculously poor opposition. I want Jack to stay, but I feel the club have learnt a valuable lesson in contract negotiations. We have been stuck with players through injury and with players who have declined in their performance… Read more »


That’s a very good comment. Cheers.
Though to quibble just a bit, calling Xhaka more powerful. He gets pushed off the ball alot and bypassed regularly. Sure, he commits a lot of silly fouls that look “powerful” I suppose, but usually ends up giving away a free kick in Arsenal’s end.

A Different George

A lot of what you say about Xhaka is less true than it was, certainly about getting pushed off the ball easily. This is a pretty common phenomenon for players new to England, because their dispossession would be a foul in every other league. Once physically strong and naturally aggressive players like Xhaka become accustomed to this, they improve markedly. (He still sometimes dwells on the ball too long, inviting these challenges.)


Don’t think you come out with this if you have any desire to stay, not with a contract on the table you’re refusing to sign.

Very best case scenario, it’s an attempt to drum up interest from other parties to then use to go back to Arsenal to try to extract better terms.

Purujit Ponnappa

Wilshere as per reports isn’t even asking for a raise. He’s content with his current pay. We ll have to pay a lot more ( in terms of fees and salary ) to get anyone at his level. He’s one of the few players left that really cares about the club. We must sign him up unless we can replace him with a better player. And tbh, don’t trust the club with transfers. Also Ramsey is entering the last 12 months. It would be a shame if we lose both. We haven’t even replaced santi yet.


Makes perfect sense. 5 year contract is expiring, so let’s sign another one for 5 years without any raise ay?

Purujit Ponnappa

We ‘re offering him reduced basic wages. We can give him a similar salary with bonuses based on fitness and other variables. That is still way more cost effective than signing a new player for £40m and paying ludicrous wages.
Wilshere is still a top player and offers something different. No other CM at our club can run with the ball.
We’ve to anyway buy atleast a GK, CB, RB( no back up to bellerin at the moment) CDM and a Winger. But sure, let’s add another CM to that list.


How do you know all these contract details?


It’s been out there that his wages are being dropped from 120k per week to 100 in the new offer. Something to that effect


Stop all that he cares about the club nonsense. He refuses to sign a very fair offer which would actually bring him at least the money he’s earning now if not even more if he stays fit. If he doesn’t manage to stay fit I don’t see a reason to pay him more than 5 millions a year for being injured. Have done that for years in which we stood by him through his injury struggles. Now he thanks us with refusing to sign and publicly speaking about a private conversation between him and Arsène to get the fans on… Read more »


Jaysus. Did he bang your girlfriend a few years back and you’re still mad about it? You sound bitter.


Ah, the usual bullshit argument when you have no real ones. Yeah, he has banged my girlfried, sure. That’s the reason why I came up with the arguments why I think he’s not loving the club as much as you puppets think he is. That’s the reason. You got me. Actually he also banged my mother, my granny, my dog and my guinea pig. He banged them all. That’s the reason for my bitterness.


What we are witnessing with Jack and possibly Aaron is the new “not Director of Football” at work in my opinion. We’ve got so used to AW running everything that it can be hard to accept that maybe things have changed. Recently AW has been known to say that he wants a player to stay and within a relatively short space of time said player leaves the club. Either AW is being disingenuous or those kind of decisions are no longer in his hands. Some people have complained for years about the deadwood in our team, and rightly so, but… Read more »


Didn’t Jack say that WENGER told him he could go? Maybe Le Prof has had enough of Wilshere’s injuries. It looks like this is all about money: handing a good but injury-prone player a lucrative deal is probably unwise.

BTW: it wouldn’t surprise me if Wilshere left and then really took off at another club. Look at the Ox.

Teryima Adi

That is possible, but it is a gamble we are ready to take.


Look at the Ox? The delusion that the ox has really taken off at Liverpool makes me smile. Still the same good yet inconsistent player imo

Cannon and Ball and Arse’n’all

Same player, only difference is that he is playing in a successful, fluid team where everyone knows their role. Liverpool are making ox look better than we could.. If he’d stayed he’d be playing in an underperforming team, and probably playing pretty well at wing back (whilst regularly expressing his desire to play in the middle). He’s probably playing less minutes at pool, but they are winning games and all is rosey. If they start losing he’ll soon be scapegoated just like he often was with us


“Recently AW has been known to say that he wants a player to stay and within a relatively short space of time said player leaves the club.”

Thats not a recent thing – its been happening for years…remember Nasri? Fabregas? RVP?

Teryima Adi

Spot on. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders.


Hi Jack, we have already told Wenger he can leave too.


Com’on Arsenal

We extended the contracts of Mikel, Thomas and possiblly Santi, knowing that they had severe injuries, we paid them 52weeks of salary and played them for a couple of games in their last season, and now we treat Jack this way?

Keep him! We need more passionate players like him.


Yeah I agree. Persisted with Diaby too for years even though he could barely manage 1 game without getting injured. Having said that Wilshire should just sign. Unless it’s a derisory offer e.g. Half his current base. Might be hard to take

Bai Blagoi

It is also important what the salary of Diaby was. I don’t know that, but I can imagine it was much less than is Jack’s now. So it was easier to afford to keep Diaby “just in case”.


Santi, Thomas and mikel weren’t getting 110k per week. They weren’t on more than 80k.


They were also highly talented and respected senior players who helped the team off the pitch as well as on it. Jack doesn’t seem to have the intelligence levels to do that.

Bai Blagoi

Hard to keep him if he doesn’t want to sign..

We kept Santi by extending his existing contract, not by offering him new and improved terms (by the way, Santi is out of contract in couple of months and you can nobody even mentions extension now). And Santi didn’t request a loan move.

Teryima Adi

This has gone beyond passionate players. We need players that can compete on the football pitch.


Really? Do we need that when everyone is hiding when losing to a stoke or a west brom? We have players that are supposed to compete, and those players are starters. Wilshere is a better rotation option than anyone else we have. Plus, he’s an Arsenal player through and through. We need someone like that to stay.


See ya. All the best.


Stay at Arsenal, improve your fitness and fight for your place or leave, make more money and get injured again because a different club will physically abuse you.


We are a big club and can still attract better players than Wilshere AND better managers too. Goodbye Jack.


Wilshere is a quality player, but hes injury record is obviously a mess. I mean at this day of age, there are plenty of choice where a player arent injury prone.


If we could afford an upgrade, sure why not Jack. I guess we expect a bit more from someone who plays in front of the midfield… More end product, more telling passes?

Teryima Adi

He is free to go. And after he’s gone, life goes on.

believe me

and arsenal slip further and further down the league

Bai Blagoi

“Obviously I wasn’t happy with what the manager had said but, at the same time, part of me knew all this already.

Well, part of you should have known it already when you requested a loan move the previous year..

“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.

Sounds like you would have gone last summer if something interesting has popped up. Means, you are also not that interested to stay at the club, Jack..


Not necessarily. He’d just been told he was not really needed or in Wenger’s plans and “could go”. That would hurt your ego big time and is understandable he could have thought “fine then fuck you”. Jack wears our number 10 let’s not forget. Wenger clearly had huge plans for him


And yet, regardless the fact that Wenger told him he’s not in his plans, he gave him a fair chance when he decided to stay. Managed to keep him fit and got him back to a form where he’s back in the England squad, something he hasn’t managed at Bournemouth where he was instrumental to the managers plans but hasn’t performed good enough. Wilshere didn’t mention that. He just mentions how Wenger told him he can leave. Because he loves the club so much ? Can you imagine what a manager like Pep or Maureen would do to a player… Read more »


You’re really starting to sound like a fake account for PR spin.


All I can say is, like Ox before him, I wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up.


Atleast we got money from the ox sale. Jack doesn’t even have that courtesy. You could also argue that ox left because he knew if he didn’t play he would not have made it to the world cup. Ultimately it’s very obvious that loyalty doesn’t exist in football. So called academy players have nothing to give back to the club. They don’t even do it on the pitch let alone off it.

I have much more respect for guys like Ashley Cole than Jack Wilshere.


We offered Ox a substantial pay rise to stay but he left for Liverpool on less money to make it as a CM. Frankly, he’s been vindicated but the Wilshere situation is different, we’re offering him a worse deal.

Wilshere wouldn’t be leaving if he wasn’t being offered a paycut while others are getting huge deals. I’m sure that from his point of view he’ll feel like he’s not really wanted here. The Cole comparison is really barmy, a totally different situation.


Others have delivered in the past, he hasn’t. If he can’t see that, it’s his problem. He should be happy that he’s been offered a contract at all after years of injury struggles and not compare himself to players who have been very good for us over the last years.


Your point about Ox is exactly how i feel about Cole now. Having won a PL title with us i feel he’s been vindicated. What has Jack done to earn the contract he thinks he deserves? I’t’s not like he’s been offered a contract that is worse than say Koscielny’s or Monreal’s. IMO Jack hasn’t even done enough to cement his place in the starting xi. A player of his calibre should be leading us to the Europa league title this season. If he does that then i imagine the club would be more than happy to offer him something… Read more »


More respect for Ashley Cole than Jack Wilshere? Really?


Given that Ox is doing better than when he was here, shows that he has hope if he has to go (partly because he does not want to accept the offer on table). So although on one hand we see the likes of Diaby etc given new contracts even when they were injured, its a bit sad to see Arsenal not giving him at least a better deal to keep him. At the same time, it shows that money for a player plays a big part as well, not just club alliances(quite understandable) However this works out, hope Wenger leaves… Read more »


Ox has had a handful of good performances (with one or two excellent ones), and a whole lot more underwhelming performances, and this is in his supposed favourite position. Basically the same kind of form he had down the years with us. In other words the idea he’s REJUVINATED UNDER KLOPP is a load of media inflamed rubbish.


It’s hardly going to happen overnight is it. Did heeave in January window for goodness sake?? Far too early to tell


I never said the above capitalised words in your comments, my comparison was relative.
Furthermore…..f*** it

Thank you for doing a Daily Mail interpretation of my comment and posting in The Sun manner, whats more so many up voted your comment, for sure you are saying the popular/more accurate thing similar to how the aforementioned papers sell more…

I shall go shut up now.

Viera Panasonica

🙂 I do the same now. Its like no one reads a post completely before replying, let alone understand the context.

Olivije Žirod

I think we can all agree that Wilshere is not even close to a Wilshere in 2010-2012. But we still should sign him because of the squad depth. I don’t think he is a first team material especially if we sign someone to partner Xhaka. Wenger had every right to not offer him a new contract.

believe me

Errrrr I think that WE can ALL agree that wilshere IS back to his best, AND that his name should be the first name on the team sheet

Gus Caesar

He’s not been 70% of the player that he once was; he’s been ok but fairly average on the whole, some games he’s been handy bursting between the lines, others he’s been quite anonymous and struggled to make any impact. He’s also far from the first name on the teamsheet, probably one of the last actually – if we play with a back 5 and Ramsey is fit then Wilshere doesn’t even get in. It’s all a matter of personal opinion but I find it strange how there’s such blind loyalty towards Wilshere that people are willing to overlook and… Read more »


I actually think it’s the people who don’t think Wilshere is back to his best (or close to it) are the ones with rose-tinted glasses. Statistically speaking, by how much has the Wilshere of 2010 outstripped the Wilshere of today?

I think you’ll find that it’s Arsenal as a whole that’s a shadow of its former self, both in style and quality of players, not Wilshere in isolation. We’ve gone from a team that could beat Barcelona at home to a team that, well, simply can’t. Damn, we can’t even get top 4 anymore.

Gus Caesar

Too much sentimentality comes into play with Wilshere, we need to view him in the same way that we view any player and put his background aside. It seems to me that we’ve made a very fair offer to him. We’ve recognised that he’s put himself back in the first-team picture but we also know his health situation and have made an offer with that in mind. If he plays enough and is good enough then he will be handsomely and competitively rewarded – he certainly won’t get that kind of money somewhere like Sevilla or West Ham. It’s 100%… Read more »

believe me

what happened to ALL those wilshere fans who not long ago were saying how great he was, are now saying that he should go, do YOU so called fans know just what YOU want…..


Most arsenal fans have emotions to their players, but then we have to look at it from the angle of Arsenal being a club and not a place where we keep having faith that these players are going to bounce back lets give them good contract. Obviously with time we ve seen things to change that things are no longer thesame. The manager has allowed his feelings for players as to what happens beyond football for these guys only for them to stay with long injuries when they get back to full fitness they begin to think they (players) are… Read more »


Maybe I’m wayyyy out on a limb here, but, there was a decent amount of chatter that one of Ozil’s demands in signing a new contract was that he gets the number 10 shirt. I really won’t be surprised if this comes out as being the straw, or one of them – that finally broke Jack’s back …. figuratively.


Wilshere can go; Bellerin can too. We need passion and solidity, centrals in the mould of Yaya. We already have Ozil to create. For Shere not having signed, he is fake Arsenal. We thought Persie was our boy until he shocked us. Shere’s injuries make him not worth much and he should be told that in a clear tone. He is being stupid.


Pogba anyone?


Bellerin must stay, a new manager will get the best out of him. Wilshere looks like he’s forty years old, is permanently injured (again, at the England camp)and contributes very little except flashy runs down blind alleys, and petulant fights to prove his pashun. We can easily do better and I’d rather give the next generation a place in the squad. Wilshere has a huge sense of entitlement that he hasn’t earned, and our medics know more about him than anyone else, so perhaps the club isn’t prepared to take a risk on his dodgy ankles.


Looks like it’s his knees now. Love Jack to bits but am afraid he’s a bit too fragile. An injury waiting to happen, if what Southgate says is true.


Ramsey is another one.

We could be left with a midfield of just Granit and Elneny.

Who would think it would come to this?:D


And then we could bring in some talented new players who aren’t injury prone, and promote a couple of youngsters for the cups and we’d be a better team in the end. I’m actually sick of the Wilshere situation, it’s becoming like the Wenger situation and needs to be sorted. If Jack leaves I won’t miss him. That goes for Ramsey also, he’s always breaking down when the going gets tough, and then pops up to score a winner in the cups, which is nice, but other players can also do that and not be such a let down for… Read more »


Jack is great for fighting spirit. He also travels with the ball well.

That said, he is replaceable, Max Meyer is a good potential replacement but there are others as well like Saul at Athletico.

What we simply have failed to replicate is what Santi gave us in the middle of the park.

Adding someone of that quality is what we truly need regardless of whether Jack stays or goes.



Its his main problem.

And it may be ours too currently with midfield scarcity.