Arteta warns fans Arsenal project will 'take some time'
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has offered to help out former Gunners star Jack Wilshere, who is currently without a club. The Spaniard claimed that he would be open to letting the former fan favourite train with the side after a series of injury issues have sent his career into a tailspin.
As a youngster, Wilshere was touted as one of England’s stars the future, amassing 34 caps for the senior team and almost 200 appearances for Arsenal.
However, he has suffered horrendously with injuries over the past few seasons, only making 16 Premier League appearances since 2017.
After signing a short-term deal with Championship side Bournemouth last campaign, he was released at the end of the season and is currently training alone.
In a development that will undoubtedly bring smiles to the faces of Gunners fans worldwide, Arteta offered him a lifeline, saying: “Our doors are always open,” when quizzed on whether Wilshere could come and train with Arsenal.
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“Jack’s a great guy and someone I used to share a dressing room with. He’s loved here,” he added.
It has been tough for other sides to take a punt on the midfielder, despite his talent, due to his tumultuous injury history.
During his two-year stint at West Ham, which only came to an end in 2020, Wilshere was pocketing a reported £100,000-a-week, so wage demands could also have been a concern.
Training for Arsenal could be exactly what the 29-year-old needs, however, given the best football of his career was undoubtedly played in a Gunners shirt.
He joined the north London side at the age of nine and stayed for 17 years, winning two FA Cups along the way.
Wilshere’s fearlessness to get on the ball, technical ability and burst of pace made him a joy to watch, and Gunners fans will certainly be disappointed at how his career has turned out thus far.
In a frank interview with The Athletic earlier this summer, Wilshere said: “Being honest, I probably never thought I’d be in this position.
“Today I was running around an athletics track and struggling to imagine I would be here at this point in my career.
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“Everyone used to say to me, ‘(At) 28, 29… you’ll be at the peak of your career’. And I genuinely thought I would.
“I thought I’d still be playing for England, (that) I’d be at a top club.”
Although he may not see the Emirates pitch given his lack of Premier League football over the past few years, you never know what may happen if he makes his return to full fitness.
With five years of overlap when the pair were both in Arsenal’s midfield ranks, Arteta already knows how good Wilshere can be.
At a time when Arsenal are sitting bottom of the Premier League and in desperate need of a feel-good development, this could be exactly what both parties need.
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