Jack Wilshere’s deadline day move to Bournemouth was undoubtedly one of the biggest shocks of the transfer window.
With just days left for moves to be completed, Wilshere ended his unwavering eight year allegiance to Arsenal with a last ditch scheme to secure a loan escape. The Cherries eventually emerged victors despite interest from Crystal Palace and Serie A.
However, only now has the Englishman shed light on why and when he decided to travel in search of greater game time. The man himself has cited August 28 as the day that proved the final straw for him at the Emirates.
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Since the age of nine, Wilshere has plied his trade at Arsenal.
This incredible loyalty has been abundantly apparent during his time with the senior team. There are few members of the Gunners’ squad that show such passion and desire for the badge.
Nevertheless, tumultuous form and an unprecedented onslaught of injuries have hampered his original emergence at the Emirates. This was to an extent that Wilshere didn’t feature at all in 2011-12 and made just three appearances last season.
Consequently, Arsene Wenger’s patience could only extend so far and the 24-year-old’s game time began to be culled.
While the midfielder is renowned for being Arsenal through and through, he was equally unprepared to let that allegiance ruin his career. This loyalty did see him opt for a loan as opposed to a permanent move nonetheless though.
However, this is all well and good, but at what point did Wilshere realise that a change in direction was necessary?
We now have the answer. According to the Daily Mail, the Arsenal man revealed that it was being snubbed by Sam Allardyce’s first England squad that was the final straw.
The 24-year-old explained: “It hurt not being in there.
"There were a lot of midfielders and the manager brought another one in. I'd been injured for a while, and I was thinking I was at a stage of my career where I needed to play. I'm 24 and I've already missed too much football, and if I want to get to where I want to be it'd be no good coming off the bench in every game.”
In light of this sudden desire to depart, Wilshere contacted Wenger: “I actually sent him a text to begin with.
“I said I wanted to come in and speak to him. He said he wasn't around for a few days with it being international week. But he told me to call him and I did. 'We spoke a couple of times that day. It was the Monday and the transfer window was closing on the Wednesday so we didn't have long to sort something out.
“But I'd decided that I couldn't have a season where I'm not starting. I spoke to the boss and he said, "You will play". But I wanted more than that. I want to play week in, week out, be an important player for the team.
“I'm at my best when I'm playing regularly, when people are relying on me and I'm an important member of the team. I said to the boss, "You know what kind of player I am, what type of character I am, I need to play, it would be best if I leave"
Finally, Wilshere explained his decision to select Bournemouth over the others clubs also vying for his signature: “I met Alan Pardew. He was good, to be fair. I really liked his ideas in terms of what he wanted to do with me at Palace.
“But a big part of me wanted to get away from it all, get away from London. And Eddie Howe was great. Straight away he talked about the things he thought I could improve on and stuff like that and I agreed with him. And what I liked was the fact that, even when they are struggling, Bournemouth never shy away from wanting to play football.
“Once I'd spoken to Eddie I made my mind up. There was something about him that made me feel I wanted to work with him.”
So, while it wasn’t easy leaving Arsenal, the shock of being ousted from the England squad proved the reality check Wilshere needed. Furthermore, with game time guaranteed down south, his Bournemouth switch appears a shrewd move.
Even so though, the midfielder simply must improve otherwise his route back into the Arsenal squad will prove tougher.
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