Jack Wilshere has announced his departure from Arsenal via his official Instagram.
The 26-year-old midfielder came through the ranks at Arsenal, joining the academy aged nine. After a battle with persistent injuries and a subsequent loan to Premier League side Bournemouth, Wilshere featured heavily for The Gunners during the 2017/18 season.
However, after drawn out contract negotiations and growing uncertainty over the Englishman's future, he has now revealed that he will be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.
In Wilshere's detailed social media post , he explained how he had held talks with new manager Unai Emery and informed of how the Spaniard failed to guarantee him substantial first team minutes.
"Following my meeting with the new manager, I was made aware that although the reduced contract offer remained, it was made clear to me that my playing time would be significantly reduced should I decide to stay." Wrote Wilshere.
Despite being willing to accept a pay cut in order to remain at the Emirates, it was ultimately the lack of assurance over a first team role that lead the Stevenage-born midfielder to take the decision to seek pastures new. Claiming that he needed to be playing frequently at this point in his career- evidenced by his omission from England's World Cup squad.
This news will come as a shock to the Arsenal faithful, who were eager to see Wilshere pen a new contract. With Per Mertesacker retiring and taking up a staff position, Arsenal are set to appoint a new captain and many had hoped Wilshere would be offered the mantle.
Where next for Wilshere?
Various media outlets have linked Wilshere with a potential move to Premier League sides Everton, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Wolves. Whereas reports abroad suggest the likes of Juventus and AC Milan are also keen on the midfield schemer.
Wilshere himself says he feels "fit and strong" but will take time to consider his next move. The fact that there will be no transfer fee involved means there will inevitably be a host of clubs willing to land him on a free.
Upon revealing decision to leave Arsenal, the north Londoners thanked him for his contributions, releasing a statement via their official twitter;
"Everyone at Arsenal would like to wish Jack Wilshere a successful future following his decision to seek new opportunities," a statement read. "Thank you Jack for your contribution and the fantastic memories. Good luck in the future."