Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere
Wilshere says he was disappointed when Fabregas left.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed he was disappointed following the departure of ex-captain Cesc Fabregas in 2011.

Fabregas joined Barcelona for £35m two years ago having achieved hero status in north London.

The Spanish international, having joined from Barca in 2003, came through the Arsenal academy and became among the club's most influential players.

And Wilshere, who at the time was establishing himself in the Arsenal first-team, says he was deeply upset by the move.

"I was really upset about Fabgregas leaving," Wilshere told a Google Hangout. "He was the captain and you always went to him if you had a problem."

Since Fabregas's departure, Wilshere has started to replicate Fabregas' impact at the Emirates and along with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil is part of a new era in Arsene Wenger's 18<sup>th year as manager.

Fabregas was subject to two bids from Manchester United for his services in the summer, but both offers were rejected by Barcelona.

The club are understood to have a clause within Fabregas' contract of which they get first refusal on the midfielder should Barca accept an offer from a rival club, raising hopes he may one day return to the Premier League.

Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League and on the brink of the Champions League knock-out phase following an impressive start to the season during which Wilshere has scored four goals.

His latest contribution came in the 2-0 win over Marseille which all but booked the club's place in the Champions league last 16 and Wilshere attributes his success to Wenger's early mentoring.

"He gave me a chance when I was 16 and brought me into the first team," said Wilshere. "He picked me out and gave me that chance to train with the first team. He put his arm around me.

"Some games I didn't play well but he still stuck with me, when you're young you do make mistakes."