The former England international is on the lookout for a new club after being released by the Hammers
Jack Wilshere has revealed plans for his next career move after leaving West Ham, while outlining his desire to “be happy playing football again”.
Wilshere’s two-year stint at the London Stadium came to an end when he agreed to an early termination of his £100,000 per-week contract on Monday.
The 28-year-old joined the Hammers on a free transfer from Arsenal in July 2018, but only made 19 appearances for the club in total – including just six Premier League starts.
The former England international has endured a spectacular fall from grace since bursting onto the scene as a teenager at Emirates Stadium, with persistent injuries ultimately preventing him from reaching his full potential.
Despite his struggles for form and fitness, however, Wilshere still believes he can turn his fortunes around, and has opened the door to a potential move abroad as he bids to rediscover his passion for the game.
“I think I want to try something different – I am leaning towards that. Maybe La Liga, Italy, something a little bit different that not many English players have done,” he told talkSPORT.
“At the same time, I am probably going to take a week or two to decide. I was in this position when I left Arsenal and if I have learnt anything from that, it is to take your time and make sure it is right for you.
“Not that I have regrets that I went to West Ham because in my head things would have turned out differently. But this time I am going to take my time and find something that suits me.
“I just want to be happy playing football again. When I first signed for West Ham and the first three games when I started, before I picked up a little injury, that was probably the last time I could tell you I was happy playing football.
“I want to go back on the pitch with a smile on my face and play 20-30 games a season where I am an important player for a team.”
Wilshere went on to insist that he has been in peak physical condition since before the coronavirus outbreak in March, but was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements by David Moyes at West Ham and didn’t want to waste any more time on the bench.
“It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to at West Ham and I was frustrated at that, but that is football,” he said. “At the end of the day the manager picks his team and it is difficult once he has his team to change that.
“I thought maybe I would get more of a chance this year but I was thankful to [Moyes] that he made it clear to me that I wasn’t [in his plans] and it was probably in my best interests that I left and tried to find something else, so I did and here I am.
“I have been fit since February and I am ready to go. I knew I wasn’t going to play at West Ham and could have stayed and sat there but I thought I couldn’t lose another year of my career.”
Wilshere also admitted to getting in touch with former Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger to seek his advice on a possible next move, having looked up to him as an important mentor throughout his professional journey.
“I don’t want to say he’s like my dad, because he’s not my dad, and my dad would be annoyed!” he added on his relationship with the Frenchman. “But he was almost like that father figure. Even now, when I was going through all this with West Ham I picked up the phone and spoke to him.
“I asked for his advice. He’s almost like the godfather of football. I just listened to his advice and straight away I was like ‘I need to listen to his advice’ because he’s been there for a lot of my career, guiding me from when I was a young player to a senior player at Arsenal. He was unreal for me.”