Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere is retiring at the age of 30

Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement.

Ilshere, 30, became the Gunners’ youngest league debutant in 2008 at the age of 16 years and 256 days after progressing through the club’s academy.

The injury-plagued midfielder won the FA Cup twice in a row with Arsenal in 2014 and 2015.

He later joined Bournemouth for one season and then made a permanent move to West Ham in the summer of 2018.

Wilshere returned to the Cherries on short notice in January 2021 and also played for Danish Superliga club AGF.

Wilshere, who made his debut for England in 2010, won 34 caps and was part of the 2014 World Cup squad.

“It’s been an incredible journey full of incredible moments and I feel privileged to have experienced all that I have experienced throughout my career,” Wilshere said in his resignation statement on Twitter.

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Jack Wilshere had two spells with Bournemouth (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

“From a little boy kicking a ball around in the backyard to captaining my beloved arsenal to playing for my country at a World Cup. I lived my dream.

“In truth, while I felt like I had so much to give, it’s been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping away lately for reasons beyond my control.

“Because I’ve played at the highest level, I’ve always had such high ambitions within the game and to be honest, at times I didn’t envision myself in that position.

“But, having had time to reflect and to speak to those closest to me, I know now is the right time and despite the difficult moments, I look back on what I have achieved with great pride.”

“Playing at the highest level with some of the best players in the world, winning FA Cups, becoming captain of my club and representing my country was beyond my wildest dreams growing up in Hitchin as a little boy.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the career that I have had, but none of this would have been possible without the love and support of so many people.”

Wilshere paid tribute to former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and his staff for giving the young midfielder a chance.

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Jack Wilshere (left) paying tribute to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (right) (John Walton/PA)

“Words never do justice to the love and gratitude I have for The Boss, Arsene, Pat Rice and Boro Primorac,” Wilshere said.

“I could not have become part of the Arsenal family without your faith, support and guidance from the day we met. I am forever grateful to you all.

“To the best fans in the world, all Arsenal fans, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Playing for you all was a privilege.

“You have always made me feel supported and I hope I have made you proud to represent your club. I will never forget how you always supported me and I will always be a Gooner.”

Wilshere hinted that he might try to stay involved in the game going forward.

“I’ve enjoyed every moment of my career and it’s been the journey of a lifetime,” he said.

“Now is the right time to close this chapter, but I still have so much to add to the game and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/former-arsenal-and-england-midfielder-jack-wilshere-retires-aged-30-41824980.html Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere is retiring at the age of 30

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