The future ‘Mr Arsenal’ Jack Wilshere has given Gooners a much needed boost by further reiterating his desire to remain at the club, claiming he will sign a new long-term contract in the next few weeks.
It has been a mixed start to his relatively fresh Gunners senior career after the England international enjoyed a spectacular year in 2009/10, becoming a regular starter despite his tender age. However he suffered an injury plagued season last year and sat out the entire campaign, but this term he has not looked back after returning to full fitness.
Wilshere was believed to be in talks over a new deal recently, with manager Arsene Wenger certain his most promising prodigy would pledge his future to the club, and the 20-year-old has confirmed his desire to remain at the club. He told Sky Sports in a Q&A:
There have been reports Arsenal want you to sign a new contract. From what you have said publically, that does not sound like it would be a problem for you despite the club currently being in a time of transition?
I am talking to the club and I probably will be committing my future to the club in the next couple of weeks. I know the team are going through a bad stage at the moment but that is like any team. Look at West Bromwich Albion. Okay, they are not as big a club as Arsenal. But they were flying and now they have hit a sticky patch. The fans booing is not a problem for me. We have to change that ourselves.
You have an affinity with Arsenal which goes back many years. But if Arsenal cannot win trophies and get back to that level, is it understandable the top players will want to leave?
I think so. You have seen that over the past few years the top players have maybe thought they do not see a bright future at Arsenal. But I think it is different for me. They were a bit older. I am 20 so have a long way to go, touch wood, in my career. Players like Robin maybe thought, ‘I have not got time anymore’. Cesc wanted to go home (to Barcelona). I am young. There are older players around me and younger players around me like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs. In the next three or four years, they can become top players and we can challenge.
Is it your dream to be captain of the Arsenal team one day and be the man who leads the club to a trophy?
I would like to be captain one day. I have been here since I was nine years old and I know the club’s traditions. I have been in the first team since I was young. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying I am ready now.
There is a possibility Thierry Henry could go back to Arsenal on loan in January. You did not get the chance to play with him last time he returned due to your injury. What would it mean to you to play with him?
That would be great. He is a legend. When I was growing up, I was watching him. He is the best striker I have ever seen. Maybe he is not the best striker around anymore but to play with him and have him around club would be great. He used to speak to me when he was here last time but to have him in the dressing room would be great.
The maturity of the 20-year-old is exceptional and his commitment is exactly what Arsenal need at the moment. Wenger is under intense scrutiny after such a horrible run of form and the last thing he needs is for his starlets to want out.
Wilshere certainly has the potential to be the club captain and he will most likely be next in line when Vermaelen hands it over. But presently he does not need the burden as he needs to focus on his own game similarly to Ramsey’s situation with the Welsh captaincy.
Arsenal do have the bones of a strong squad, with a bit of tinkering, match experience and a developed understanding from playing with one another the Gunners have a bright future – and captain Wilshere will be in the front line. Time to turn it around on Monday night