Jack Wilshere has revealed that the departure of the club’s top players was the reason that Arsenal gradually lost their ambition of challenging for the Premier League.
The Englishman was a member of the Arsenal team in 2010/2011, which was the last time that the Gunners really threatened to win another league title.
However, after they failed that season, they lost Cesc Fabregas in the summer to Barcelona and gradually players like Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie also left the club for Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.
Arsenal would go on to struggle for a place in the top four and despite signing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they are still far from competing in the Champions League again.
Asked whether Fabregas’ exit had a detrimental impact in the Arsenal dressing room, Wilshere told The Lockdown Tactics podcast via Mail Sports:
‘Yeah it did. The big players like Robin and Nasri were asking the question like “why is he going, we think we’re supposed to be challenging for the Premier League”.
‘Why is our best player and our captain leaving? Then you see obviously Nasri went to City and I got on really well with Samir and I remember having a conversation with him and he was saying what City are building, it’s hard not to want to be a part of that.
‘I could understand where he was coming from but at the same time it hurt because he was so good for us.
‘He was going to be one of the reasons why we’d improve and start challenging. I’d always think back to that first season and when we came so close and thinking what would’ve happened.
‘Would Cesc have stayed, attracted bigger players challenged in the Champions League? But year after year players left.’
‘I saw it over when I first started to the expectation dropping even from then,’ Wilshere added. ‘From the first season challenging for the Premier League to then challenging for the top four was what we were going for.’
Wilshere spent a majority of his career at the Emirates before leaving for free to join West Ham in 2018, he never really reached his potential because of injuries but he remains one of the best players that ever came out of the Arsenal academy.
It is also very hard to disagree with his comments.