Unai Emery has explained Jack Wilshere’s departure from Arsenal was a tactical and technical decision – and had nothing to do with the midfielder’s injury problems.
Wilshere left Arsenal this month and joined West Ham United on a free transfer after his contract at the Emirates expired.
Before opting to leave the club he has been with since he was nine, the midfielder had talks with new head coach Emery to discuss his role in the team. Given Wilshere’s previous fitness problems, it was speculated that could impact whether or not the 26-year-old would fit into Emery’s plans.
However the Spaniard has explained the decision for Arsenal and Wilshere to part ways was due to tactical and technical differences, and not the player’s injury record.
“It was one decision, one private conversation and I want to respect that,” said Emery. “It was a tactical, technical decision. The conversation with Wilshere was a very good conversation, very direct, together. I explained to him my opinion and how I wanted to create the team, and I couldn’t say for sure to him he was going to be in the 11 players.
“Also he explained to me the decision is not easy for him, but he wanted to choose the best option for him and every time it is with respect. I know this player here is important for the supporters and grew up here in Arsenal. But I don’t give him one post in the starting 11 and is for that he chose to leave here, and I respect also this.”
Emery may have allowed Wilshere to leave Arsenal, but he has confirmed he wants fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey to stay at the club. The Wales international is into the final year of his current contract and talks are ongoing over fresh terms.
Arsenal’s newly assembled transfer team, which includes head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, are the ones conducting talks.
Emery naturally remains in constant contact with the trio, though, and he has communicated to them how important Ramsey will be to his team going forward.
“I’m very happy with him,” Emery said. “For me, every day, every training session, he has the ambition I want. He’s working with a quality, the type of ability that I want. I want to work with him. In my opinion, I’ve said to Ivan, Raul and Sven that I think he’s an important player for me.”
Tying Ramsey down to a new contract is the last major task for Arsenal in what has been a productive summer transfer window.
The new transfer team has conducted their business swiftly and, unlike in previous seasons under Arsene Wenger, the squad seems complete with still weeks left in the current window. Emery has confirmed he is very happy with the players at his disposal, but he would be content for Arsenal to bring in one more player if the right opportunity came along.
“Normally, we are thinking about the young players, the possibility of them staying with us or going to play on loan at another team,” Emery added. “We signed the players who we needed and only if one player is a big opportunity for us will we sign them.
“We are also thinking about the players who were with us last year and whether we need them to stay with us. At the moment, I think the squad is complete. We will only sign another player if there is an opportunity to bring in that one player, or two players. We will only sign a player in the next month if he’s a big opportunity.”
One player Arsenal have been linked with in recent weeks is midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, who Emery worked with at Sevilla. However, a deal for him is seemingly off the table at the moment.
“I know him but we haven’t made a move for him,” said Emery.