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Jack Wilshere has admitted he's considering retiring from football, at just 29-years-old, in a remarkably emotional and personal interview.
Wilshere was once regarded as one of England's finest midfielders and he burst onto the scene with Arsenal in 2008.
But the last decade has seen him blighted by injury and he was released by Bournemouth earlier this summer.
In a candid chat with The Athletic, Wilshere addressed his future and his current mindset towards football.
When asked if retirement has crossed his mind, the former Three Lions star said: "Yeah, that does cross my mind quite a lot.
"I'm waking up in the mornings at the moment and I'm thinking, 'Right, I need to go and train somewhere'. Normally it's on my own... OK, I've been training with a club in pre-season but that's finished now.
"I'm back to waking up, training on my own and finding that motivation. And the question I keep asking myself at the moment is: What am I doing it for?
"I said to my agent I don't want to be in that position where I'm waiting and waiting and before you know it January comes and I've almost wasted another season.
"I'm not getting any younger and I don't want that. I did that last year, so to do it again... I feel like I'd be wasting my time."
Wilshere discussed the impact his career is having on his family life, even sharing that his son Archie has started asking questions.
He continued: "My kids are at an age where they understand. Especially Archie, who's nine.
"He's actually having conversations with me, saying, 'What about the MLS?' or 'Why aren't you playing in La Liga?'
"He loves football. He knows everything about football. And it is difficult to explain to him. He'll say to me, 'How come no club wants you?' I don't know. But how do I explain that to him?
"They've got friends at school and you know what kids can be like, they can be quite brutal.
"'Why is your dad not working? Is he not good enough? Is he not good at football?' Yeah, that's tough."
One child even called him 'Jack Wheelchair' which saw Wilshere confront the child's parent.
The decision to leave Arsenal for West Ham United in 2018 came after new manager Unai Emery told Wilshere he wouldn't be in his first-team plans.
It's something Wilshere admits looking back was a poor decision, believing he could've fought for a starting spot.
"Honestly, I should have never left, that's nothing against West Ham - it could have been anyone - but I shouldn't have left Arsenal," Wilshere said.
"I sat down with Emery and he said 'Look, there's a contract on the table but you're not in my starting XI.' I thought I was going to play - I proved myself the year before. I probably made a few rash decisions. I rang my agent and said 'That's it, we need to leave.'
"I should have taken a few days, calmed down and thought to myself again, 'I look around this midfield and back myself to get in'."
Wilshere last played for England in 2018 and said he expected to still be playing for them right now.
However, his career sadly hasn't panned out that way.
"Everyone used to say to me, '(At) 28, 29... you'll be at the peak of your career'. And I thought I would. I thought I'd still be playing for England, (that) I'd be at a top club."
Featured Image Credit: The Athletic & PA Images
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