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Jack Wilshere confirms Arsenal departure

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

Wilshere, 26, made his Gunners debut in 2008 and has made 197 first-team appearances.

“Following a number of extensive conversations with those at the club, and in particular a recent meeting with the new manager, Unai Emery, I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have due to purely footballing reasons,” Wilshere said.

“My intention throughout these discussions has always been to remain an Arsenal player. I have been on the books at Arsenal for 17 years and have always felt part of the fabric of the club. Such was my desire to stay that I had in fact recently agreed to sign a financially reduced contract in order to commit my future to the club.

“However, following my meeting with the new manager I was made aware that, although the reduced contract offer remained, it was made clear to me that my playing time would be significantly reduced should I decide to stay.”

“I am sure everyone can understand that at this point in my life and career I need to be playing regular first team football and following my meeting with Mr Emery I came away feeling that it would be very difficult for me to do so at Arsenal,” he added.

“Given this, I feel I have no option but to pursue other opportunities in order to progress my career on the pitch.”

Wilshere joined Arsenal’s youth set-up as a nine-year-old and made his first-team debut in 2008 to become Arsenal’s youngest-ever league player at 16.

He went on to amass almost 200 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal. During that time, he had loan spells at Bolton Wanderers and Bournemouth.

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