Arsenal icon Nigel Winterburn - I would have loved Jack Wilshere to stay
PUBLISHED: 23:03 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 23:03 17 July 2018
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Nigel Winterburn, a member of the legendary Arsenal backline has praised former Gunners Jack Wilshere for accepting a pay cut in his desire for first team football. Read on to learn what the former left-back known as 'Nutty' said about the 26-year-old West Ham midfielder.
Nigel Winterburn has praised former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere for taking a pay cut in his bid to seek regular first team football.
Wilshere left North London earlier this month after meeting new head coach Unai Emery to discuss his future.
The Spaniard could not guarantee the 26-year-old a regular berth, prompting the Hitchin-reared star to join West Ham on a free transfer.
It is understood Wilshere took a pay cut to join Manuel Pellegrini’s Irons – earning praise from Gunners legend and former Upton Park defender Winterburn.
Speaking at a preview event to highlight the Arsenal Legends match against Real Madrid Legends at the Emirates on Saturday, Spetember 8, Winterburn said: “It’s refreshing.
“I would have loved him to stay but when you talk about players at big clubs being on the bench but not moving on because of the salary they are on, we are seeing a player here who is desperate to play football.
“If Jack had stayed I still think he would have got a lot of game time here.”
Emery revealed that during discussions with Wilshere he informed the midfielder who has won 34 caps for England – but none since Euro 2016 – that he was not going to guarantee him a place in the first team – leaving Wilshere to leave instead of putting pen to paper on a contract extension.
Former manager Arsene Wenger had hinted Wilshere would stay in North London but Emery’s made clear his stance.
Winterburn added: “When a new manager comes to a club there are always surprises and players leaving.
“If he hadn’t had all the injuries he’s had he probably would have stayed and said ‘I’ll show you what I’m capable of doing, I’ll force my way into the team’ but when you have missed that amount of football you have to do something to get games.”
Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid Legends, Emirates Stadium, Saturday, September 8, kick-off 2pm.
To buy tickets visit arsenal.com.