Arsenal sacrificing Jack Wilshere and indulging Mesut Ozil is ultimate humiliation for a Gunner with the club in his blood

The Gunners’ longest-serving player is leaving with a heavy heart following a discouraging conversation with new boss Unai Emery.

Wilshere, 26, had been hoping that Emery’s appointment would provide a new lease of life to his flagging Arsenal career.

Instead, it led straight to the exit door after the Spaniard made it clear that Wilshere did not figure prominently in his long-term plans.

The decision has left many fans bewildered and upset.

For Wilshere was very much regarded as "one of their own", a North London lad who loved the club and burst with pride every time he pulled on the famous red shirt.

Nobody at the club played with more heart, enthusiasm and commitment. And nobody hated Tottenham more than Jack the lad.

The fact that he has been shown the door while fellow midfielders Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have all been awarded lucrative new contracts this summer has only added insult to Wilshere’s injury.

The biggest slap in the face, though, came before Emery had even arrived at the Arsenal.

That was delivered back in January when Mesut Ozil signed a £350,000-a-week deal after Wilshere had been ordered to take a 25 per cent pay cut.

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And even though the club reluctantly came back with a slightly improved, heavy with incentives offer, it still represented a significant drop in basic salary.

Yet Wilshere was still prepared to swallow his pride if it meant he could continue to represent the club he first joined as a nine-year-old.

But his conversation with Emery made it clear that he was not going to get that opportunity on a regular basis, that he would have to settle for the occasional run-out when Ozil could not be bothered.

And that was to prove the final straw for a player who has been left devastated by his omission from England’s World Cup squad.

Wilshere believes he has ended all the fitness doubts after making 38 appearances for Arsenal last season.

Now he is looking for a club who will give him the opportunity to prove himself all over again – and he won’t be short of offers.

For it was not that long ago that Wilshere was regarded as the brightest young player in England.

He might have lost a yard of pace after missing the best part of three seasons through injury and he has to think twice before throwing himself into the tackle these days.

Yet he can still pick a pass better than any midfielder currently in Gareth Southgate’s squad and at 26 is about to enter what should be the peak years of his career.

Arsenal might feel that they can do without the midfielder, but allowing him to leave as a free agent is a decision they could well regret if he really is back to full fitness.

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