Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has spoken of his desire to remain in North London amid transfer speculation in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail.
In his absence, Arsene Wenger’s side have performed beyond expectations – winning 12 of 18 Premier League fixtures and reaching the FA Cup final.
The midfield partnership of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin has been perfectly balanced, while Welsh international Aaron Ramsey has proven his ability in a number of midfield roles.
As such, questions have been raised as to whether the Gunners actually need Wilshere, and his future has been the subject of intense debate due to reported interest from Manchester City, the Mirror published last month.
Wilshere, a product of Arsenal’s youth academy, however has no doubts where he wants to play his football and conceded he would be upset if the club decided he was surplus to requirements.
“I would be hurt if they sold me,” he explained. “I want Arsenal to want me. So if they didn’t want me, it would hurt. It would be strange playing for another club. I went to Bolton on loan and that was strange.”
“I feel like I’m ready to play now and that’s not going to change. I want to play more minutes before the end of the season and then I’ll have to wait until next season and see what the boss’s plans are for me.”
Club legend Thierry Henry would also be sad if Wilshere were sold, telling The Sun two weeks ago that he hopes the England international remains at the Emirates for his entire playing career.
The sheer strength in depth now visible in North London can only be good for the club, yet Arsene Wenger needs to manage his players well and rotate in order to keep everybody happy.
Wilshere is in a battle with four or five other players – Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramey and maybe a new signing – for two spots, a situation which will test him on a number of levels.