‘Arsenal is home for me… I’ll be forever grateful’

When Jack Wilshere was without a club and looking to get back to fitness ahead of the next step in his career, we stepped in.

Offering our former midfielder a chance to train with the first team, as well as coach our academy sides, has been an invaluable experience for him - and he admits it has meant the world to him.

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"It’s been perfect and just what I needed at the right time because everyone knew before I was training on my own," Wilshere told Arsenal Media. 

"I was training hard, but there’s only a certain level of fitness you can get when you’re running around a pitch or running up and down a pitch. 

"There comes a time when you have to be around players and it helps that they’re good players as well, the level is high, it took me a few weeks to get up to the speed of things, but now I feel really good. As you said, I probably need some games, but in terms of sharpness and training fitness, I’m ready.

"I think coming into that I probably didn’t think that [I needed a lift] and didn’t know it, but it’s helped my confidence massively because of the standard of player, being around players every day, training every day, and just showing myself that I can still do it and if I can do it against players at this level, I back myself to do it at a pretty high level.

"Arsenal is home for me," he continued. "I remember when I was here last time and one of the old players, I won’t say his name because I don’t think it’s fair, said to me, ‘You don’t realise how good Arsenal is until you leave and what a family it is’ and then I left and I realised he was right. 

"But one thing as well is the family values. When I was down, when I was low, they reached out to give me an opportunity to come back and train and build my confidence up again, build my fitness up and I’ll be forever grateful for that."

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