Former ​Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed that his decision to move to ​West Ham was driven by his past, as he has felt a connection with the Irons throughout his life.

The 26-year-old left the Gunners after his contract expired, leaving him with a number of potential clubs interested in getting his signature.

Speaking to the ​Independent, Wilshere stated that his decision to move to the London Stadium was driven by his desire to play at his boyhood club. 

TF-Images/Getty Images

“I’ve had a bond with West Ham since growing up as a kid, going to Upton Park, looking up to the players.

“Obviously I had to consider all my options – abroad and in England – but once I sat down, it was clear for me. They’ve got real ambitions, they’re playing in a big stadium in front of good fans, and we can build something special.

“As a team, they went through quite a lot last year, but they’re really tight. That’s going to help us going forward.”

The player also revealed who he looked up to the most when he was a child, in the days when he used to go to Upton Park.

“Paolo Di Canio was my all-time hero. That team with Trevor Sinclair, even as far back as Julian Dicks. 

“Then when I got a little bit older, I really looked up to Joe Cole. I remember watching him in the Youth Cup as a kid. We beat Coventry about 9-0 [in 1999], and he was unbelievable. As a young player, I wanted to be like him.”