Arsenal: Wenger paves way for Wilshere’s return
Media Balls: Does Arsene Wenger regret allowing Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal for Bournemouth on a season-long loan? Sky says he does. Injury has left Arsenal shot in midfield (plus ca change). Sky‘s headline thunders:
But Wenger doesn’t regret anything. What Wenger actually says is:
“I could use him now. But if he had not played until now, he would not be ready to play now. What looks unfair at some moments in the season is that you know at some stage you could need the player… And still today I think it was the right decision for him to go.”
Wilshere was rotting at Arsenal. He’s played 17 of Bournemouth’s 20 Premier League matches – missing both games against Arsenal because rules forbid him playing his parent club. Of course Arsenal could use his nous now, his give-and-gos and box-to-box style. But with no recall clause in his Bournemouth deal, the Gunners can’t get him back.
“It’s slightly old-fashioned and a step back in time in terms of other Premier League clubs and he deserves huge credit for that,” said Bournemouth manger Eddie Howe when Wilshere picked Bournemouth over a host of other clubs vying for his services. “The fact he’s willing to come here for football reasons, rather than anything else, speaks volumes.”
Wilshere needed games after getting so little football at Arsenal. He’s thriving at Bournemouth. Would he have made the same progress at Arsenal this season or still be off the pace? Wenger knows the answer to that.