The boss stood by his injured star when an 18-month spell on the sidelines curtailed the 20-year-old's progression but now the England international is keen to kick on
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says that his devotion to Arsene Wenger helped convince him to sign a new deal with the Premier League club.
The England international was one of five young British players to pen new contracts at the north London club in December, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson.
Wilshere commended the faith shown in him by his manager through his extended rehabilitation period, noting that it was key to him committing his future to Arsenal.
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"He's always been there for me," the youngster told the Official Arsenal Magazine.
"He showed faith in me when I was 18 and he stuck with me throughout the whole time I was injured.
"He knew the only thing that would get me better is games and he stood by me. I need to thank him for that, and yes, he was a big part of why I signed."
The 20-year-old is a fan of Wenger's current policy of blooding new, homegrown talent, insisting that such focus on the younger generation is standing the club in good stead for the future.
He continued: "I'm very happy here. I've signed a long-term deal, I'm not 21 yet and I see my future here. We have got a good crop of young players, and good young English players as well.