Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wenger mulls second chance for ‘great player’ Wilshere


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Bournemouth’s English midfielder Jack Wilshere vies with Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (L) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth at White Hart Lane in London, on April 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL /

Arsene Wenger is weighing up whether to end Jack Wilshere’s Arsenal exile after the injury-plagued England international’s latest fitness setback.

Wenger sent Wilshere on loan to Bournemouth earlier this season in a bid to give the midfielder a chance to prove his fitness and form after several seasons of injury problems.

But the 25-year-old suffered a fractured leg during Bournemouth’s defeat at Tottenham and will be out for the rest of the season.

Wilshere appeared as a substitute in two of Arsenal’s opening three Premier League games before discussions with Wenger led to him leaving on a temporary deal.

He made 27 appearances during a solid spell at Bournemouth and, with just over a year remaining on his deal at Arsenal, Gunners boss Wenger will wait until the end of the campaign before deciding if Wilshere gets a new contract in the close season.

“It’s a very simple fracture of the fibula. We need patience. Let’s hope that all goes well,” Wenger, whose own future at Arsenal is also up in the air, told reporters on Thursday.

“That (Wilshere’s contract) is something different. This injury is nothing to do with the extension of Jack’s contract.

“We haven’t entered into any negotiations yet. I think with all these cases, when there’s only one year to go, it’s done during the break.”

Wenger admitted it was frustrating to see Wilshere, once touted as the brightest of England’s young stars, hampered yet again by injury problems.

Asked how he felt when he heard of the injury, Wenger replied: “Sad because Jack is a great football player with a great football brain.

“His career has been stopped by many injuries. Today at the top level, the most important thing is the consistency of the presence.

“When a player’s been out for a while, the game is of such an intensity that it always takes you a while to get your confidence back.”

Wenger said Wilshere will remain at Bournemouth for treatment until the end of his loan agreement, when he will then start the rehabilitation process back at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters.

“I’ve followed the situation closely because he sees a specialist. We think it’s a very simple fracture that doesn’t need any surgery at all,” Wenger said.

“Hopefully he will be back in July for normal training.”

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