Jack Wilshere may have once been hailed as an Arsenal wonderkid and ‘the future for England’, and Arsene Wenger thought he had an excellent British core sealed when Wilshere and Co signed long term contracts back in 2012. Wenger said at the time: “We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts.”
“The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the club. Jack is certainly the best known, the leader of this group – but the other four are exceptional footballers, and we’re very happy that we could conclude their new deals at the same time.”
The other four were Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey, but it was Jack that was given the most favourable contract, believed to be now worth £90,000-a-week. With just one more year left on this contract, it is unlikely that any other team would take a chance on signing him on those terms. There was interest from Sampdoria in Italy, but the latest reports say they have pulled out as Wilshere’s wages would make him the club’s highest earner. That is an impossible chance to take on a player that suffers from more injuries than most.
So it looks like Jack will be still be an Arsenal player next season, and I would expect him to stay with us for the duration rather than go back out on loan, despite interest from Crystal Palace, West Ham, Swansea and Newcastle all reportedly keen on temporary deals. Surely Wenger needs to see for himself whether Jack can still make it at the highest level, or whether to just release him for nothing next summer…