Jack Wilshere has insisted he has no regrets about leaving West Ham and is confident his injury woes are behind him and that he still has plenty to offer at 28.
The former Arsenal star, who burst on to the scene as an exciting 16-year-old talent, is searching for a new club after having his £100,000-a-week contract at West Ham terminated by mutual consent, having made just 19 appearances across two seasons.
Wilshere has struggled with injuries and fitness problems throughout his career, and the general consensus is that it has prevented him from fulfilling his full potential.
Jack Wilshere has insisted it was the right move for his career to leave West Ham
The 28-year-old is entering the peak years of his career and said he had no choice to leave West Ham because his prospects of getting regular game time were slim.
Speaking to The BBC about his Hammers exit, Wilshere said: ‘People will say what they want and footballers get paid well, but there is nothing more draining and saps your confidence more than when you know you are not going to play, that no matter what you do in training, or what the other players are doing, even if you lose 3-0, you are not going to get an opportunity.’
‘I didn’t want to be around that and in that environment.’
Wilshere is currently training in a local park as he searches for a new club after being released
Wilshere is currently training in a local park to keep himself in shape as he searches for his next club, which he admitted could even be outside Europe.
‘It is important to find a club where I am going to play, be an important player and be happy,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to rush into anything. It has to be the right team in the right country. I am open to Europe or wherever.’
And the midfielder believes he can still make a major impact if he stays fit and revive his career.
He suffered numerous fitness problems in his career and played just 19 times for West Ham
Wilshere first burst on to the scene 12 years ago as a 16-year-old talent at Arsenal
He added: ‘People forget I am 28. Everyone thinks I am 30 or 31, probably because I started when I was 16. That is 12 years ago, which is a long time in football,’ Wilshere said.
‘In my head, I have been fit for ages but at the same time, I haven’t played games. People probably have forgotten. But there is a difference between fully fit and playing games.
‘I have been fully fit for a while but, without games, you don’t get up to speed or get the minutes you need. In a year’s time, I would like to have 20-25 games behind me at a new club and be looking forward to the future.
‘I feel I have much more to give. I just want to be given the opportunity to show it.’
At 28 now, he is confident he can still make an impact if he stays fit and gets the opportunity