West Ham United have announced the signing of Jack Wilshere to a three year contract. The former Arsenal midfielder will join up with the Irons in Switzerland later this week.
Wilshere told the official club website, “People will have seen the picture of me in a West Ham shirt and I’ve got good memories of my childhood supporting West Ham, watching them at Upton Park. It feels good and of course my family and a few of my friends are West Ham fans so everyone’s buzzing.”
Wilshere was available on a free transfer after leaving Arsenal at the conclusion of his contract. New Gunners boss Unai Emery made it clear that Wilshere would have seen a reduced role at the club during the 2018/19 season.
The 26-year-old was also a transfer target of Fenerbahçe; at one point The Sun even reported that Wilshere was in Turkey to complete a move to the Super Lig giants.
Wilshere joined the Arsenal academy in 2001 after growing up in a West Ham household, he signed a professional contract in 2008. In 2010 he spurned the Hammers to join Bolton Wanderers on loan and impressed enough to break into the first season for 35 games in the 2010/11 season.
Injuries and unfilled potential are the story of the rest of Wilshere’s time in North London. He joins West Ham and links up with Andy Carroll, a man with a similar career arc. At the end of June, Wilshere’s 17 year stay at Arsenal came to an end even after he reportedly offered to take a pay cut.
New director of football Mario Husillos told the club site “Manuel and I identified him as a target as soon as we joined the Club and we are delighted to have succeeded in securing Jack’s signature above a number of other teams. Jack is a player with vast experience and quality at the highest level, having played all of his career in the Premier League.”
This is new manager Manuel Pellegrini’s fourth signing of the summer after securing the services of Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, and Lukasz Fabianski. Wilshere will join a crowded West Ham central midfield that has had it’s share of issues the past few years.