Jack Wilshere has explained how much it hurt when his role model transferred away from Ashburton Grove… and it's not Manchester United's star striker.
Arsenal's favourite son Jack Wilshere has seen a number of prominent team-mates exit the Emirates Stadium since his academy promotion to senior squad in the summer of 2008.
From Thierry Henry, to Alexander Hleb, Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell, Emmanuel Eboue, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, Wilshere has oft waved goodbye to either a: a prominent first-team player, b: a captain and/or c: a dressing-room character.
He is quoted by the club's official website to have said: 'The one I was really upset about leaving was Fabregas, I learned so much from just watching him. He's similar to me starting at a young age [and] I was the most upset about him leaving.'
The trend of selling the club's main asset due to either financial reasons or a player dissatisfaction due to a lack of trophies at the club was bucked this summer by the in-house record-breaking acquisition of Mesut Ozil.
'But to arrive…' Wilshere added. 'I'm excited about Ozil, he's settled in nicely. His first game away at Sunderland he got an assist and was man of the match. He plays the Arsenal way and I think there's a lot more to come. He's so comfortable on the ball, right foot, left foot.
'If you look at his stats he runs the most, he makes it look easy but that only masks how hard he works.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald