Jack Wilshere has told talkSPORT how grateful he is to Arsenal for giving him the opportunity to train at London Colney after opening up to his depressive thoughts.
Wilshere, who played 197 games for the Gunners in 10 years, has been a free agent since his contract at Bournemouth expired at the end of last season.
He spent little time last month training with Serie B team Como after speaking about his lack of offers and the impact it had on his mental health.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was then asked if Wilshere would be welcome at the club for training, replying: “The door is always open.”
Now he trains mainly with the Under 23s at the club’s training center in London Colney.
Wilshere joined talkSPORT Drive on Thursday and asked about his quest to find a club, he said: “Well, to be honest it’s kind of a dry period.
“That’s why I’m so grateful to Arsenal, because I would wake up in the morning – because I always want to play – knowing I had to train.
“I planned a session and it would happen at 11am, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do this.’
“Then it came in at 3pm and I was like, ‘No, I have to do it. “
“I had these mental battles every day.
“Now Arsenal has given me this opportunity to come and train, to come and do some coaching.
“It’s just the routine of – I wake up in the morning, I have to be there at 8:30 am, I know that, I’m going to train with a team.
“I think too, because it lasted three months, it was solid.
“I was on the phone with my agent, having conversations and nothing was going anywhere.
“It was on my mind, so just to get away from it, go train, get in position when January comes to be fit and ready if a team comes…”
“It’s crazy, I didn’t think about it, you wake up and you have nothing to do.
“I would find myself in bed at 10 in the morning, my wife is going crazy, the kids are going crazy downstairs and I’m like ‘Ah, I mustn’t get up, I don’t have to do anything.’
“So yes, the routine is difficult.”
Wilshere first publicly discussed his depressive thoughts in September.
“Speak up, and I know that sounds cliché, but it actually helped me,” he continued.
“I didn’t want to do it because I know there are people in a worse situation, nobody wants to hear about a footballer who has won well in his career, complaining about these things.
“But actually everyone has these thoughts, these depressive thoughts.
“I’m not saying I’m depressed or depressed, but you have negative thoughts.
“When I did an interview, I spoke.
“And the love and support that I got from former players that I played with, legends of the game, it really helped me, it gave me a boost.”
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