Arsenal will not look to re-sign Jack Wilshere despite their academy graduate being on the lookout for a new club after terminating his contract with West Ham at the start of October.
The 28-year-old made just 19 appearances in two years at the London Stadium after leaving Arsenal in the summer of 2018.
Wilshere suffered injury problems but declared that he has been fit for much of the past year and simply has not had a chance to shine for the Hammers, who he supported growing up.
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The former England international, who racked up 34 caps for his country, is a high-profile free agent having once been regarded as one of the Premier League’s most promising midfielders.
He was Arsenal’s Player of the Year back in 2010-11 and there have been some calls for the north London club to bring Wilshere back to the Emirates.
Wilshere spent 17 years with Arsenal before his move to West Ham but his time under Arsene Wenger was ultimately marred by injuries which prevented him from reaching his full potential.
Yet some, including talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham, have declared that a move back to Arsenal would be ideal for both player and club.
But Goal’s Charles Watts, speaking in a YouTube Q&A with Arsenal fans, insists that Wilshere will not be returning to his former outfit.
While such a move may have been possible were Wenger in charge given the Frenchman brought old players back with Thierry Henry the most notable in a brief loan, Mikel Arteta will not do the same.
Arsenal are keen to trim down their wage bill and Wilshere would likely command a significant salary.
While he is likely to have to take a cut on the £100,000-a-week pay-packet he earned at West Ham, Wilshere will presumably still be seeking a well-paid deal given the quality he can offer.
And despite offloading several players in the summer, Arsenal’s annual wage bill remains high after handing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a pay rise as well as giving Partey around £200,000 a week to move to the Emirates earlier this month.
Perhaps even more crucial than the financial aspect of any move, however, would be that Wilshere has made it clear he wants regular minutes at his next club.
He said in his statement upon quitting West Ham: “I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the last course of the last eight months – training hard every day – but unfortunately have not been given the opportunity to play.”
But with Partey, Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all as options in midfield, Mikel Arteta has ample competition for places already.
In conversation with talkSPORT last week, Wilshere hinted that he may look to move abroad as he searches for a new club.
He said: “I thought maybe I would get more of a chance this year but I was thankful to him [David Moyes] that he made it clear to me that I wasn’t [in his plans] and it was probably in my best interests that I left and tried to find something else, so I did and here I am.
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“I have been fit since February and I am ready to go. I knew I wasn’t going to play at West Ham and could have stayed and sat there but I thought I couldn’t lose another year of my career.”
“I think I want to try something different – I am leaning towards that. Maybe La Liga, Italy, something a little bit different that not many English players have done.
“At the same time, I am probably going to take a week or two to decide. I was in this position when I left Arsenal and if I have learnt anything from that, it is to take your time and make sure it is right for you.
“Not that I have regrets that I went to West Ham because in my head things would have turned out differently. But this time I am going to take my time and find something that suits me.
“I just want to be happy playing football again. When I first signed for West Ham and the first three games when I started, before I picked up a little injury, that was probably the last time I could tell you I was happy playing football.
“I want to go back on the pitch with a smile on my face and play 20-30 games a season where I am an important player for a team.”
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