From joining the academy aged nine to winning the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley, Jack Wilshere always loved playing for us.
Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, our former England international revealed he had been offered a new deal before he ended up leaving the club.
"I felt like it went on forever because the discussions probably started in February and then we got to a point where I was going to sign it," Wilshere said. "I wanted to stay at the club, I love the club, I knew everyone at the club, I felt like it was my family and then Arsene left so that dragged on.
"They didn't announce Emery for a while and the club was going in a different direction. I had conversations with my dad, my family, my wife, my agent around that time about waiting to see who came in [as manager]. To see if he liked me because of the way the contract was set up.
"It seemed like it went on for it forever and then as soon as Emery said to me, 'Look, you're not in my starting XI’, I was like, 'Okay, right, I need to leave'. It was very difficult as I said, it felt like Arsenal was my family.
“I was part of Arsenal, it's a massive club and I was a big part of it, it was difficult. It was a sad time to leave and even now I look back and think, 'Yeah, that was a tough time'.”
Make sure you don't miss an episode by subscribing to 'In Lockdown' now on the following platforms:
Copyright 2021 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.