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Pep, goals and Scholes – 5 things you may not know about Jack Wilshere

The England midfielder Wilshere signed for West Ham on a free transfer after leaving Arsenal.

Jack Wilshere has signed a three-year deal at West Ham, the club confirmed on Monday.

The 26-year-old left Arsenal after his contract expired, having come up through the ranks with the Gunners.

Now he will be turning out across London for West Ham and here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the England midfielder.

Many old Irons

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Paolo Di Canio was a favourite of West Ham-supporting Wilshere when he was growing up. (David Davies/PA)

Wilshere grew up in a family of West Ham supporters and admits to being a Hammer himself in his youth.

Recalling his childhood memories, he told the Daily Mirror: “My first game was against Coventry, in 2000, (Paolo) Di Canio scored a hat-trick.”

Wilshere said he “looked up” to Di Canio and will now no doubt want to emulate the sort of relationship with supporters that the charismatic Italian had.

Golden goals

Wilshere was awarded the BBC’s goal of the season award in back-to-back seasons during his time at Arsenal.

He finished off a wonderful, flowing team move in a victory over Norwich to claim the 2013-14 accolade.

He would retain the honour following his half-volley from the edge of the box against West Brom on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign.

Guard of honour

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Pep Guardiola first professed a fondness for Wilshere during his time as Barcelona boss. (Sean Dempsey/PA)

While several serious injuries have left the debate rumbling about just how good Wilshere is, or could have been, he has a long-term admirer in Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester City boss has always spoken about how highly he rates the midfielder and said only last season: “I remember in Barcelona and that year we played Arsenal. He left a massive impression when he came. A high, high level. He’s quality, he’s smart and has the quality on the ball.”

Guardiola holds Wilshere in such a high esteem that he was linked with a move for the former Arsenal man after taking the reins at the Etihad Stadium.

Who you gonna call?

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Paul Scholes criticised Wilshere while working as a TV pundit. (John Walton/PA)

Wilshere has revealed on more than one occasion that he considers former Manchester United and England man Paul Scholes to be the best midfielder the Three Lions have ever produced.

It is for that reason Wilshere was determined to hunt down Scholes after he offered some stinging criticism in his role as a television pundit.

Messaging then-England coach Gary Neville for his former team-mate’s number, Wilshere later revealed he had listened to everything Scholes had to say and conceded he was “right, in a certain way”.

One in 10

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Wilshere has scored twice for England having played through the Three Lions age groups. (Mike Egerton/PA)

Wilshere may have been unable to convince Gareth Southgate he was worthy of a place in England’s World Cup squad this summer – but his earlier international pedigree was clear for all to see.

He has 34 senior caps and two goals, but it was at the European Under-17s championships in 2009 where he started to show his promise.

His performances in Germany saw him listed as one of 10 “future stars” from the tournament – Wilshere being the only one who went on to play for his country at senior level.

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