Jack Wilshere has made what for him is a heart-breaking decision to quit his beloved Arsenal. New boss Unai Emery has made it clear he will not get the kind of game time he desires and Wilshere took to social media to say that he was leaving Arsenal after 17 years at the club.
So, where will the dynamic midfielder, overlooked by Gareth Southgate for England’s World Cup bid in Russia this summer, end up?
Wilshere, who is still only 26, has been strongly linked with a switch across the capital to West Ham United but news emerging today suggests that this move may well be in jeopardy.
The Hammers, who are currently having their squad re-shaped by new coach Manuel Pellegrini after he replaced David Moyes, are said to be in no mood to offer Wilshere a bumper deal.
Instead it is said they want to offer the playmaker a one-year contract with an incentive to earn a better deal once he has proved his fitness. Wilshere has endured a troubled career through injury and the London Stadium hierarchy are reticent to offer him a long-term, lucrative contract only to see him sitting on the sidelines for long spells.
Premier League options for Wilshere could well be Fulham, Bournemouth (where he played on loan previously), Crystal Palace and Everton, while Serie A giants Juventus are also said to be keen on his services.
One way or another he is leaving the red half of north London and although a lot of fans will be sorry to see him leave, one former player says it is the right move for both parties.
Gunners hero Emmanuel Petit, who won a clutch of honours with Arsenal during a highly successful stint at the club under former boss Arsene Wenger, believes Wilshere’s track record with injuries has been the catalyst for his departure.
Speaking to Paddy Power, Petit said:
“I don’t know where he will end up but this has been a complicated season for him, with two very big blows at the end; not getting into the World Cup squad and not getting his contract renewed.
“Injuries and inconsistency have been the two main troubles for him. We all know his qualities, but to show them one game, and then not for two or three games, and then being injured so often on top of that, you can understand why he is in the position he’s in now.”
Petit added that he considered that Wilshere won’t be in the starting eleven, so it’s
“time for him to go. I think that will be good for him. When he went to Bournemouth he did well.
“He can expect to play for a better club than Bournemouth now, but Arsenal have made the right decision. I hope he can enjoy playing too.
“It’s quite difficult when you have injuries and you’re always making the effort to come back from them. That would make you ask is there something wrong with him?
“I don’t know what would be going on in his life, but when you get so many injuries like this, you need to find an answer if you want to keep playing.”