When Jack Wilshere put pen to paper on a loan deal at Bournemouth, his Arsenal career looked in the balance.
Having struggled to make any discernable progress over the last five years, the midfielder finally decided to seek regular game time. If anything, his Cherries moved appeared a last chance to impress Arsene Wenger.
However, barely three months into the spell and Arsenal seem to have seen plenty to make an informed decision. The Gunners aren’t messing about.
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Given the fact Arsenal are locking horns with Bournemouth this weekend; it wasn’t exactly surprising that the topic of Wilshere arose. This is despite the fact Wilshere will be ineligible to face his parent club on Sunday.
Nevertheless, Wenger was keen to outline his and Arsenal’s stance on the 24-year-old.
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Speaking in this week’s round of press conferences, as per the BBC, the Frenchman said this of contract talks: "We have to plan that around the new year."
Therefore, perhaps surprisingly, it is clear that Arsenal have plans to extend the England international’s stay in north London.
Wilshere has played 834 minutes for club and country this season, yet hasn’t racked up a single assist or goal. While the midfielder has been far from poor on the south coast, he certainly hasn’t lived up to his reputation.
His showings certainly don’t scream an Arsenal protégée.
Consequently, the news that the Gunners are considering extending his contract, will shock a large proportion of fans. After all, the last time the 24-year-old found the net for Arsenal, Jose Mourinho was lifting the league title and QPR were still a Premier League side.
For Wenger though, enough potential has clearly been shown.
Wilshere hasn’t pulled the rabbit out of the hat quite yet however. While his Arsenal boss seemed rather confident of his future, there are no guarantees.
Nevertheless, Wenger was keen to reiterate the importance of this loan for the man himself, explaining: "That's exactly what he needed - to have regular football, maybe not every three days but every week at the start.
"That has helped him a lot to develop and come back to the level he deserves to be at.
"He gets regular football and now on the observations I get from our people who watch him, he's getting stronger every week.
"I leave him to deal with his manager. I read the reports and when I can see highlights or watch him on television, I will watch him."
Easily pleased? Maybe so, but there can be little doubting the benefits Wilshere will be reaping from an anomalously hearty amount of game time. Besides, it’s something he distinctly lacked at the Emirates.
Whether he’ll be able to slot back into the Arsenal side after his year away though is another question. A new contract perhaps, but that may not be the good news it appears to be for Wilshere.
Do you think Jack Wilshere deserves a second chance at Arsenal? Leave them in the comment section below!