Arsene Wenger has insisted that he doesn’t regret leaving a recall clause out of Jack Wilshere’s loan deal, despite the current injury crisis. The midfielder is on loan at AFC Bournemouth for the rest of the season but back at the Emirates, Wenger is hardly spoilt for choice (via Arsenal.com).
Arsenal’s injury problems this season all seem to have struck the same position, central midfield. It was an area which was considered the strongest before the season started but a series of injuries, suspensions and an international call-up has hit the squad.
Santi Cazorla is a long-term absentee and now Aaron Ramsey has joined him in the physio room. Granit Xhaka is still serving a suspension and Mohamed Elneny won’t return from the African Cup of Nations until next week after Egypt reached the final.
Arsenal’s strength in the position has already led to one player heading out of the door. Jack Wilshere moved on loan to AFC Bournemouth at the start of the season but with the current shortages in the position, many fans were wondering if he could be recalled. Arsenal rejected that that was an option and now Arsene Wenger has defended his decision.
“No, we have agreed for him to go on loan for a year and we accept that,” the Frenchman said in his pre-match press conference.
“Yes, we could do with him back but we didn’t push him out, he wanted to go and play and I agree with that. He wanted to go because we have a huge level of competition in midfield and we had to accept the consequences.”
Those consequences may be felt against Chelsea. The crisis in midfield should be as good as over by the time Arsenal take on Hull City next weekend but before that, they play a crucial match at Stamford Bridge. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in the centre of midfield but there is more than a tinge of regret that the Gunners could not call upon Jack Wilshere to take part in the match.