Jack Wilshere explains why Mesut Ozil’s predicament is so difficult at Arsenal
Jack Wilshere has provided an insight into Mesut Ozil's situation at Arsenal by explaining how "draining" it is not to be handed regular minutes as a professional footballer.
Former England midfielder Wilshere is a free agent after his contract with West Ham was terminated by mutual consent earlier this month.
He made only 19 appearances for the Irons across two seasons due to a series of ankle and groin injuries but insists he had to leave in search of first-team football.
Another player who has scarcely been seen on the pitch this year is Ozil, who has not featured since the lockdown and is at odds with Arsenal.
The German midfielder has entered the final year of his £350,000-per-week deal and it is highly unlikely he will ever feature for the Gunners again.
Wilshere explained why an exile from first-team football is any player's worst nightmare as he discussed his departure from West Ham.
He told BBC Sport : "People will say what they want and footballers get paid well, but there is nothing more draining and saps your confidence more than when you know you are not going to play, that no matter what you do in training, or what the other players are doing, even if you lose 3-0, you are not going to get an opportunity."
Should Ozil have been given another chance by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta? Have your say here.
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"I didn't want to be around that and in that environment."
While Ozil is 32 and entering the final stage of his career, Wilshere is keen to remind onlookers of his relative youthfulness as he searches for a new club.
He added: "People forget I am 28. Everyone thinks I am 30 or 31, probably because I started when I was 16. That is 12 years ago, which is a long time in football.
"In my head, I have been fit for ages but at the same time, I haven't played games. People probably have forgotten. But there is a difference between fully fit and playing games.
"I have been fully fit for a while but, without games, you don't get up to speed or get the minutes you need. In a year's time, I would like to have 20-25 games behind me at a new club and be looking forward to the future.
"I feel I have much more to give. I just want to be given the opportunity to show it."
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