Arsene Wenger won’t give up on Jack Wilshere… the Arsenal boss still clings on to hope that he can be the greatest English midfielder of a generation
- Jack Wilshere was sent off for Arsenal Under 23s against Manchester City U23s
- The 25-year-old has one year left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium
- Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had always earmarked to become club captain
- However, Wilshere is now the club’s fifth-choice central midfielder
- CHRIS SUTTON: Red card low may just be what Wilshere needs
There’s a reason Arsene Wenger is agonising over whether to let Jack Wilshere leave Arsenal. It should be a no brainer.
One year left on his contract, seemingly down the central midfield pecking order and an injury record that would strike fear into any medical department.
Surely, the logical answer is to let him go? Yet, Wenger can’t bring himself to do it.
Jack Wilshere is at a crossroads with his Arsenal career with just one year left on his contract
The midfielder is determined to force his way back into the first-team despite his low standing
The silence was deafening during the summer. The communication between Wilshere and Arsenal, up until recently, was non-existent.
The writing was on the wall: Wilshere’s Arsenal career was over.
Indeed, that was the plan at the start of the summer; to sever ties with their prodigal son.
Arsenal have received bids; there was a £6.5million offer from Sampdoria and countless loan enquiries from Premier League sides.
But eight days to go until the end of the transfer window and Wilshere remains at the club’s London Colney HQ.
And ItemsgaloreBlog can reveal the lines of communication between Wenger and Wilshere have reopened; the pair holding recent heart-to-heart talks.
The upshot of those discussions is that Wenger wants Wilshere to stay at the Emirates and fight for his place.
Like a childhood sweetheart, Wenger is finding it hard to let go.
Wenger remembers that performance against Barcelona in the Champions League over six years ago.
He knows what he is capable of. Wilshere was supposed to be the greatest English midfielder of a generation; Wenger is clinging on to hope that he can be.
Arsenal were taken aback last season at the level of interest from Europe’s top clubs as news broke about the club making him available for loan.
Roma and AC Milan were among the clubs who tried to sign Wilshere; David Beckham even intervened in a bid to persuade the midfielder to move to the San Siro.
In the end, Wilshere couldn’t bare being away from his two children from a previous relationship and opted for a move to Bournemouth.
The Frenchman always planned to make Wilshere club captain. From the academy, to the first-team to the captaincy; just like Tony Adams.
Today, that honour seems a million miles away. But maybe, just maybe, his days at Arsenal aren’t numbered just yet.
With one year left on his current contract, this remains a make-or-break season for Wilshere.
Can he earn the level of contract he wants at Arsenal? Can he play enough games to have his pick of clubs to join on a free transfer next summer?
What’s for sure, he is fit and up for the challenge.
He’s recovered from the broken leg that ruled him out of the closing weeks of last season, during his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Arsenal’s decision to pack Wilshere off to Dubai on a warm weather rehabilitation training break provided the midfielder with a solid foundation ahead of pre-season.
Wilshere’s time at Bournemouth was curtailed in Apirl though when he suffered a broken leg
Wilshere is now back in full training; everyday a new opportunity to impress his manager.
He knows his chances are likely to be limited. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey have made the two central midfield slots their own.
Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are also ahead of Wilshere in the pecking order.
But Wilshere is backing himself. Privately, he believes he can earn his place back.
The plan is to slowly ease Wilshere back into life at Arsenal; utilising him in the club’s Europa League campaign as well as the EFL Cup to give him some game time.
The rest is up to Wilshere.
Monday night’s sending off for retaliating against Manchester City youngster Matthew Smith in an Under-23 clash, perhaps, wasn’t the best way to impress Wenger.
Nor was the subsequent scrap with Tyreke Wilson, who was also red carded, in the Emirates tunnel.
But the counter-argument to the criticism of Monday’s sending off is that at least it shows the fire is still burning.
There’s fight left in Wilshere; the sort of fight Arsenal are sorely lacking.
You’d hope the controversies that have plagued Wilshere’s career are finally behind him.
Likewise, hopefully he’s finally over the ankle problems that have cruelly blighted his career, the fact he played 27 games for Bournemouth last season a positive indicator that he might be.
The accusation that Wilshere suffers from brittle ankles is a misconception.
Wilshere’s maturing; his marriage to long-term girlfriend Andriani Michael should add further stability to his life.
It was a glitzy affair in Tuscany, attended by Arsenal players and staff, past and present – Danny Welbeck and Wojciech Szczesny among the guests.
But the best thing for Wilshere now is to leave the glitz and glamour behind.
Concentrate on your first love. Football.
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