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Arsene Wenger was sacked by Arsenal, claims Jack Wilshere

By Opta
Jack Wilshere (left) and Arsene Wenger

London, August 12: Arsene Wenger was sacked by Arsenal last season and none of the players saw it coming, according to former Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere.

It was announced on April 20 that Wenger would be leaving the club after 20 years as manager, with the 68-year-old stating he felt the time was right to step down.

Wilshere's own future was the subject of much speculation last season before he decided to sign for West Ham on a free transfer last month.

But the England international has suggested he could have stayed at Arsenal had Wenger not departed, which he claims was not his old manager's own decision.

"I was in the last year of my contract, and I spoke with the manager at the time, Arsene Wenger, and he said that they won't be offering me a new deal and that I could leave," Wilshere told BBC Sport.

"But at the time I was injured, and it was difficult, because I wasn't fit and I wasn't playing, and not many teams wanted me injured.

"So, I decided to stay and I got back into the team and they finally offered me a deal in January which was ready to sign, and then Arsene got sacked.

"It was strange, everyone was just shocked and Per Mertesacker, the captain, said a few words, and I think everyone was just in shock.

"It was strange. No-one really saw it coming, but it changed everything."

Wilshere praised Wenger's successor Unai Emery for his honesty about his chances of first-team football at the club.

"I wanted to wait to speak to the new manager. And I did, and he was brilliant, he was honest with me," said Wilshere.

"He said 'you can stay, but you won't be in my starting XI', so I thought it was the right time to finally leave."

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    Story first published: Sunday, August 12, 2018, 15:50 [IST]
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