Jack Wilshere "could have made the big time at Real Madrid or Barcelona", according to Cesc Fabregas, who says the ex-Arsenal star had the potential to become an "English legend".
Wilshere enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence at Arsenal after graduating to the senior squad under Arsene Wenger back in 2008.
The midfielder quickly became a regular in the Frenchman's starting line-up, while also establishing himself as a full England international.
He proved himself as a more than capable performer in both the Premier League and Champions League, with his most notable performance coming in a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the first leg of a last-16 tie in 2011.
Wilshere was touted as one of the most talented players in Europe after that display, but unfortunately was never able to reach the same heights again after being ravaged by a series of niggling injuries.
The 28-year-old eventually left Emirates Stadium as a free agent before joining West Ham in 2018 and Fabregas was left lamenting what could have been for his old team-mate.
"Jack was such a good talent, one of the most talented players I've ever played with," the former Gunners midfielder told The Daily Mail.
"He was just 16 when he first came to train with us and I was like 'wow this guy is good, strong, sharp'. It's a big shame what has happened to him, I feel sorry because he could have been a proper English legend of the game.
"We always talk about how British players would adapt to teams in Europe - I always believed that Jack was one of the few Brits who could have made it big time at Real Madrid or Barcelona.
"Same with Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale. These guys are so talented, without injuries they could have done much more."
Wilshere's fitness problems continued at West Ham, who terminated his contract one year early in October after seeing him appear in just 19 games for the club in two seasons.
The former Arsenal midfielder is still on the lookout for his next challenge, but ruled out the possibility of joining Tottenham if they ever expressed an interest in him during an interview with Sky Sports earlier this month.
"They wouldn't have me!" he said. "But I don't think I could do it. It's not as if Arsenal got rid of me and kicked me out and there is bad feeling, they offered me a deal and I wanted to try something else.
"I'm an Arsenal man."