Jack Wilshere confirms he's leaving Arsenal after 17 years

Jack Wilshere confirms he's leaving Arsenal after 17 years

- Jack Wilshere has announced his departure from Arsenal at the expiry of his contract

- His contract with Arsenal is set to elapse at the end of June

- The star midfielder cited reduced playing time under Unai Emery as reason for his exit

Arsenal star midfielder Jack Wilshere has announced his imminent departure from the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

Wilshere, who is the longest serving player at the Emirate took to social media to announce his exit from the club.

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In an emotional message posted on his official Instagram account on Tuesday evening, June 19, Wilshere asserted his “playing time would be significantly reduced” under the club’s 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," he wrote on Instagram.

The 26-year-old England international further noted that it was always his intention throughout the recent contractual discussions to remain an Arsenal player.

"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.

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Top Arsenal star confirms departure from the club in an emotional message to fans

Wilshere will leave Arsenal at the end of June but declined to say where he sees his future next season. Photo: Getty Images

Wilshere explained why he had come to the decision:

"I am sure everyone can understand that at this point in my life and career I need to be playing 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.

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

The midfielder made his Gunners debut in 2008 and has made 197 first-team appearances, but failed to make England's squad that traveled to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

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He was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides and helped Arsenal defeat rivals Manchester City in the 2014 Community Shield at Wembley.

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