Having ended his 17-year association with Arsenal, Jack Wilshere has said that the main reason he chose West Ham United as his next club is because he was a boyhood Hammers fan; and most of his family support them too.
They announced Wilshere’s arrival on a free transfer on Monday, with the 26-year-old agreeing a three-year contract.
He has been hit by injury issues in recent years which has limited his game time, at least in the Premier League. The midfielder impressed in the Europa League last season, when we saw glimpses of the kind driving runs from deep and caressed passes he made when he first burst onto the scene.
Tellingly though, he was still sparingly used by Arsene Wenger, who preferred the pair of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in domestic encounters.
Wilshere had been offered new terms at the Emirates Stadium, but without assurances from Unai Emery, he felt it was time to make a move away from the club for the progress of his own career.
He was intent on staying in the capital as well as playing for a club that satisfied his desire of playing every week.
Taking to Instagram (h/t Talk Sports), he posted, “Delighted to have officially signed for West Ham United! After speaking with the manager and those at the club I knew my future was at the London Stadium and I can’t wait to get going now.
“It’s well known that I come from a family of Hammers and it’s a special moment to sign for the club I used to go and watch as a boy.”
West Ham look promising heading into the new campaign; the arrival of Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop and Lukasz Fabianski are signs that they want to make a push for European football.
The fact that former league winner Manuel Pellegrini is in charge is another factor that convinced Wilshere to make the move across London.
And so ends an era that saw Wilshere make 197 appearances for Arsenal after making his debut in 2008, scoring on 14 occasions; thanks for the memories, Jack – and all the best.