Former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has opened up on how he ended up nabbing Robin van Persie’s iconic number 10 shirt after he left the club – with the Gunners star admitting that he simply asked Arsene Wenger for it.
Wilshere, who has not given up hope of making a stunning return to the club, spent the majority of his career at the Emirates playing under the legendary Frenchman after breaking through as a teenager.
Van Persie was a key player for the Gunners at the time that Wilshere muscled into Wenger’s side.
But the Dutchman was lured away by Premier League rivals Manchester United in a £24million move in 2012, with van Persie going on to fire Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to the title.
His departure saw Wilshere seize his opportunity to don one of Arsenal’s most famous shirt numbers.
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And he revealed that it was a pretty straightforward process when discussing the matter with talkSPORT.
“I asked for it,” Wilshere said.
The ex-West Ham ace went on to outline that it was van Persie who had possession of the number 10 shirt, but with rumours of a move away for the striker intensifying, Wilshere sensed an opportunity to nab the famous jersey.
“There were rumors,” he added. “It was awkward actually because there were rumors about him leaving for United.
“I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t know what was going on.
“But I went to see the manager and said, ‘Look, I’m not sure what’s happening with Robin and I don’t really want to know, that’s not why I’m coming here, but if he does go could I have the No.10?’
“He just said, ‘Yeah, of course’.”
Although van Persie went on to enjoy a successful spell after his departure from north London, things were tougher for Wilshere and Arsenal.
Wilshere struggled with injuries throughout his career at the Emirates before he eventually left the Gunners to sign for his boyhood club West Ham back in 2018.
Unfortunately for Wilshere, the move didn’t work out and he’s been without a club since a short-term deal at Bournemouth expired last year.
But he was thrown a lifeline by his former team-mate and current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who invited Wilshere to train with the Gunners to keep his fitness up.
And Arteta recently talked up the impact that Wilshere had made since his return to London Colney.
“His talent is unquestionable, I think you’ve heard some players say he’s the best in training. It’s up to him the next step in his career and we’re here to support that,” the Spaniard said earlier this month.
Arteta was adamant that Wilshere was still capable of playing in the Premier League.
However, he talked down the prospect of Arsenal making a move to resign their former academy star on a permanent basis once the transfer window reopens.