The Spain international spent eight years with the Gunners before returning to Barcelona in 2011 and the England international holds his former team-mate in high regard.
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"I only got to play with him for a year before he went back to Barcelona but I learnt so much from him – the way he knew what he was going to do with the ball before he got it and his passing – and he scored goals.
"Also, he grew up at Arsenal – he got into the first team at a young age, which is something I wanted to do."
Wilshere is currently on international duty with England and featured for the Three Lions during their 4-0 win over Moldova at Wembley on Friday.
The victory has put Roy Hodgson’s men top of their group ahead of Tuesday’s clash in Ukraine, and Wilshere is confident England will qualify for World Cup 2014.
"As a footballing nation with the quality we have, we can’t think of anything else," he added
"We have got some tough qualifiers coming up, but we know if we win them, it’s in our hands.
"We will be in Rio and I think all the players are going to have to come together on that one."