By Martin Graham | 9th Jul 2022
The talented midfielder, who won 34 international caps after making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2010, has decided to call time on his injury-laden career.
Wilshere was named PFA Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2010-11 season but missed the entirety of the next Premier League season, beginning an extended period affected by injuries.
Wilshere also had spells at West Ham and Bournemouth before leaving for Danish club AGF. He appeared 14 times for the Superliga side, who confirmed that they would not be renewing Wilshere’s contract earlier this week.
“Today I am announcing my retirement from playing professional football,” Wilshere said in a post on social media.
“It has been an unbelievable journey filled with so many incredible moments and I feel privileged to have experienced all that I did during my career.”
“From being the little boy kicking a ball around in the garden to captaining my beloved Arsenal and playing for my country at a World Cup. I have lived my dream.”
Wilshere, a product of Arsenal’s academy, played nearly 200 times for Arsenal, winning the FA Cup twice (2014 and 2015).
He admitted disappointment at having to bring his career to what he feels is a premature close.
“In truth, it has been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping away in recent times due to reasons outside of my control, whilst feeling that I have still had so much to give.
“Having played at the very highest level I have always held such huge ambitions within the game, and if I am truthful I did not envisage being in this position at times.
“However, having had time to reflect and talk with those closest to me, I know that now is the right time and despite the difficult moments I look back on my career with great pride at what I have achieved.
“Playing at the very highest level with some of the best players in the world, winning FA Cups, captaining my club and representing my country were beyond my wildest dreams when I was a small boy growing up in Hitchin.
“I have enjoyed every moment of my career and it has been the journey of a lifetime. Now is the right time to close this chapter but I still have so much to give to the game and I am excited about what the future holds.”
According to the Athletic, Wilshere is set to return to Arsenal as head coach of the club’s Under-18s.
The left-footed midfielder had been undertaking his coaching badges at Arsenal last season, with hopes of going into management, and will now pursue a new life after retirement.
The position has been vacant since the promotion of Max Porter to the U23s and the former English International is expected to begin work in the coming days.
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer
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