Jack Wilshere says he'd have won the Premier League with Arsenal without key salesby Alex Milne
Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes the Gunners would have won the league at the start of the last decade if they had managed to keep hold of their star players.
Arsene Wenger's side came close to success on a number of occasions, but were often forced into selling some of their best assets to the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City.
Speaking on the BBC's 606 Savage Social podcast, Wilshere highlighted the loss of Dutch striker Robin van Persie to United in 2012 as the most painful example.
"I was devastated," he said. "He had just scored 30 goals the season before. He was our captain.
"It felt like we were just about to challenge [for the title] again and all of a sudden he left to go to our biggest rivals. It was difficult to take.
"I was there when (Cesc) Fabregas left, (Samir) Nasri left, big players. If we had kept that team together I think we would have gone on to win the Premier League - and who knows from there?"
Wilshere himself left Arsenal at around the same time as Wenger, and admitted he never felt he would be able to break back into the first-team under the Frenchman's successor Unai Emery.
"I sat down with my family and my wife," Wilshere continued. "Arsene had announced he was leaving, and it felt like the right time to move on.
"I had done it before [joining Bournemouth on loan]. I knew there was life outside of Arsenal. I just thought it was the right time to move on. Times were changing at Arsenal.
"I spoke with the new manager who said: 'You can stay but you are not in my starting XI.'
"Arsene knew what I could do and trusted me. I knew if I got fit, I would play and I didn't get that vibe off Emery. It was tough."