‘It hasn’t worked out for me at West Ham’ – Wilshere reflects on decision to leave Arsenal

The former Gunner admits that he has “missed too many games” at the London Stadium, but is still eager to get his “career back on track”

Jack Wilshere has conceded that his move to West Ham from Arsenal “hasn’t worked out”, while expressing a desire to get back to “playing games week-in, week-out”.

Wilshere turned down the chance to sign a contract extension with the Gunners in 2018, and eventually opted to join West Ham on a free transfer that summer.

The 28-year-old spent the first ten years of his career at Emirates Stadium, but never quite managed to live up to the promise he showed as a teenager amid a string of injury issues.

The same problems have overshadowed his first two seasons at West Ham, and his future is once again the subject of much speculation with his existing deal set to expire in 2021.

Wilshere has only featured in 16 games across all competitions since moving to the London Stadium, and it has been reported that the Hammers may look to cash in on the midfielder before he becomes a free agent.

The former England international hasn’t yet given up on turning his career around, but does admit that his time at West Ham has not gone according to plan.

“It hasn’t worked out for me, I’ll be honest,” Wilshere told Stadium Astro. “It hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to, I’ve missed too much football, I haven’t played enough games.

“I want to get back on track, get my career back on track, get playing games week-in, week-out and start to feel like a footballer again.”

After bursting onto Premier League and Champions League scenes with the Gunners, Wilshere was initially tipped to reach the very highest level of the game.

He was a regular in England’s set up for a while despite his fitness struggles, but gradually faded into anonymity and found himself on the fringes of the action under Arsene Wenger.

An impressive loan spell at Bournemouth in 2016-17 pointed to a potential revival of fortunes for Wilshere, and he built on that platform upon his return to Arsenal, racking up 28 top-flight appearances the following season.

A disagreement over wages reportedly led to the diminutive playmaker’s eventual exit from the Emirates, however, and he was unable to keep his momentum going at West Ham.

“The last couple of years have been frustrating,” Wilshere added. “I obviously started [my career] really well at Arsenal, I was enjoying it, I was loving it, almost taking it for granted. Then I picked up an injury and I sort of started to understand my body, started to understand that this happens in football.

“I enjoyed my time at Arsenal, and obviously I went to Bournemouth, had a good year but picked up another injury.

“I came back, was told that I could leave but managed to stay and fight my way back into the team and had a good year. Then I made the decision to leave Arsenal and join West Ham.”