David O'Leary does not expect his Arsenal appearances record to be broken - but he'd love to see Jack Wilshere do it.
The former centre back left the Club 20 years ago this week after playing his final game for Arsenal in the FA Cup final replay win over Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley.
I would be delighted if it's someone like Jack, because then I will know that a tremendous player - who I am sure will improve and improve - played at Arsenal for a long timeDavid O'Leary
That was O'Leary's 722nd appearance, spread over an 18-year-old Highbury career. He wasn't quite a one-club man - making a handful of appearances for Leeds United after leaving Arsenal - but O'Leary believes the movement of modern-day footballers makes his tally hard to beat.
"I'd love to be proved wrong but I just can't see my record being beaten," he told Arsenal.com.
"It's a lot of games. When you look at the numbers I think we were averaging 50 games a season. I didn't think it was a big deal, that was what you had to do, you had to play two or three times a week.
"It's hard to see someone going past my appearances but records are there to be broken and if it is I would be delighted if it's someone like Jack, because then I will know that a tremendous player - who I am sure will improve and improve - played at Arsenal for a long time. And that can only benefit the Club."
O'Leary departed in style two decades ago, lifting the FA Cup in his final moments as an Arsenal player after Andy Linighan's last-gasp winner in May 1993. The Irishman won six major trophies at Highbury and he says his loyalty to the Gunners came naturally.
"All I can say with myself is that it wasn't a hard thing to do," said O'Leary. "It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to play there for 20 years. It is a great club, and it was no hardship to stay all that time - the honour was mine.
"It was a club that looked after you, it was easy to be there. I'm amazed I lasted that long and everything I have, I owe it all to Arsenal Football Club."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source