• Premier League

Fabregas exit 'upset' Wilshere

ESPN staff
November 29, 2013
Cesc Fabregas returned to Barcelona in 2011 © AP

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere revealed he was most upset when Cesc Fabregas left the club to join Spanish giants Barcelona.

The North London club have lost a number of high profile players in recent years with Fabregas and Robin van Persie leading the list of departures.

But Wilshere admitted it was former Gunners captain Fabregas' exit that had the most profound effect on the England international.

However, the 21-year-old said that recent recruit Mesut Ozil has picked up where Fabregas left off.

"The one I was really upset about leaving was Fabregas, I learned so much from just watching him," he told Arsenal's official club website. "He's similar to me starting at a young age.

"I was the most upset about him leaving. But to arrive I'm excited about Ozil, he's settled in nicely. His first game away at Sunderland he got an assist and was man of the match.

"He plays the Arsenal way and I think there's a lot more to come. He's so comfortable on the ball, right foot, left foot.

"If you look at his stats he runs the most, he makes it look easy but that only masks how hard he works."

Despite the praise for Fabregas, Wilshere said it was Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that has had the greatest influence on his young career.

"He's been the main person in my career: he gave me a chance when I was 16," Wilshere said.

"He gave me special care, put his arm around me, he picked me out and gave me the chance to train with the first team every day and that helped my career massively, just learning from the way they play.

"Sending me on loan to Bolton, learning to play the Premier League way, that was important too. Some games I didn't play well but he still stuck with me when I made mistakes. If you make mistakes he sticks with you, and that's huge.

"I feel like I've been around for a long time now, I should be used to playing week in, week out. I'm 21 but in football ages I'm a bit older than that. I've got a few years' experience and hopefully that can help me, so I'm looking forward to the next three to four years."

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