Jack Wilshere: Midfielder insists he can ‘still play at top’ after West Ham release

Jack Wilshere: Midfielder insists he can 'still play at top' after West Ham release

Jack Wilshere (centre)
Wilshere made just eight league appearances in each of his two full seasons with West Ham

Jack Wilshere says he is disappointed but insists he “can still contribute at the very top of the game” following his release by West Ham.

The midfielder leaves the Hammers after making 19 appearances in just over two years and with nine months left of the deal he signed with the club in 2018.

“I’m still only 28 and feel fit, strong and ready to play,” tweeted Wilshere.

“I am still incredibly hungry, ambitious and desperate to play football and achieve success.”

Wilshere joined the Hammers, the club he supported as a boy, on a three-year deal in July 2018 after leaving Arsenal.

But he has made just 16 league appearances since and only featured once for the Hammers this season, in the 5-1 victory over League One Hull in the Carabao Cup.

However, he insists that his absence from the team has not been fully down to the injury problems that badly affected his time at the Gunners, especially of late.

“Despite all my best efforts and intentions, it has not worked out as I expected,” he wrote.

“I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the course of the last eight months – training hard every day – but unfortunately have not been given the opportunity to play.

“Although of course I am frustrated that I was not fully able to showcase what I am capable of at West Ham I remain convinced I can still contribute at the very top of the game.

“I’m now looking forward to the future and hope to be able to make an announcement about the next stage of my career in due course.”

An extremely talented player, Wilshere made 197 first-team appearances for Arsenal and was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides.

He has 34 England caps, the last of which came in the 2-1 defeat by Iceland in the 2016 European Championship last 16.

‘Managers don’t trust Wilshere anymore’

Former England defender Micah Richards, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live:

I think for Jack Wilshere now, managers just don’t trust him anymore, and it’s sad because I don’t like to see that of any player.

He’s still only 28 and we all know he’s got great ability but he just hasn’t managed to do it often enough and unfortunately for him, injury has played a massive part in it.

I feel his pain. When you’ve been hampered by so many injuries and you’re trying to get back and trying to prove to people you can do it and you’re almost trying too hard, I feel for him.

He’s still got time. We know he’s not going to be a top four – maybe not even top eight player anymore, there will be someone out there that will trust him.

Cullen out, Tomori in?

In transfer news, midfielder Josh Cullen, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Charlton, has joined Anderlecht on a permanent basis and striker Xande Silva has been loaned to Aris Thessaloniki.

Cullen, a 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international, came through the Hammers academy and made 10 appearances for the club.

Silva, 23, has made two senior appearances since joining from Vitoria Guimaraes in 2018.

The Hammers are interested in taking Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori on loan.

But it will depend on whether Chelsea decide to let him go and what they decide on Antonio Rudiger who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Germany international Rudiger, 27, has already turned down a move to West Ham.

West Ham winger Felipe Anderson could also be loaned to Porto.

The Portuguese transfer window closes on 25 October, but Porto would need to register the 27-year-old Brazilian by Tuesday if they want him to play in Champions League games this season.

emergency glazing Holland Park

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