Arsene Wenger's decision to allow Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal on loan before the transfer deadline was one of the more surprising moves of the summer window.
Although he faced stiff competition for places in the Gunners midfield, it was expected Wilshere would be in Wenger's plans after an injury-free summer. However, after a meeting between player and manager in the days leading up to the August 31 deadline, the England midfielder eventually ended up joining Bournemouth for the season.
And now, with Wilshere set to make his debut for his new team this weekend, Wenger has opened up about just why he agreed to let the midfielder leave on loan - and how he expects the move to benefit the 24-year-old.
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"Wilshere is a world class player," Wenger said in comments reported by the Daily Mail today.
"For me, it was always a shame when he played too deep and too close to the goal because I like him where he can create.
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"The thinking behind the [move] was that he would get regular football and come back to what he is - a world-class football player.
Discussing the conversation he and Wilshere had that was the catalyst for the player's switch to the south coast, the Arsenal boss admitted he simply couldn't promise the combative midfielder's hopes would be met at the Emirates this season.
"Jack and I had a chat together. He was concerned he would not get enough competition early enough.
"He feels ready to play and I couldn't guarantee that. It looked like a logical decision to give him time to come back to competitive level. I couldn't guarantee that.
Wenger also insisted that just because Wilshere wouldn't feature for Arsenal this season, it didn't mean his future at the club is in the balance. In fact, the Frenchman said he hoped Wilshere would spend the whole of his career at the north London club.
"I hope personally he will stay his whole career here," Wenger said, via the Mirror.
Wenger's comments will come as a relief to those Gunners fans who had feared 'one of their own' was going to struggle to create a long-term future for himself at Arsenal.
As it is, it looks like Wenger simply wants to see Wilshere playing regular, competitive football in the Premier League.
He couldn't offer the midfielder that at Arsenal, so the loan move made sense for all involved.
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