Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Jack Wilshere is unlikely to play for the club again, despite the offer of a return to training with his former side. The Gunners’ former fan-favourite has been without a club since leaving Bournemouth at the end of last season.
In last week’s press conference, Arteta extended an olive branch to his former team-mate, claiming that ‘the door was always open’.
The statement got Arsenal fans wondering whether Wilshere could make a sensational return to the Emirates, three years after leaving.
Injury issues have marred the latter stages of his career, despite coming through in north London as one of England’s brightest youngsters.
However, Arteta’s latest comments suggest that Wilshere’s return would only be in a training capacity, rather than a full contract.
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During Thursday’s press conference, Arteta said: “We are in conversations with Jack to understand what he needs, what he’s looking for.
“We are willing to help him as much as we possibly can.
“He knows that and that’s the situation.”
On whether he could pull on the Arsenal shirt again, the Spaniard said: “I wouldn’t take it that far.”
The news will come as a blow for the more sentimental Gunners fans, although asking Wilshere to make the step up back to Premier League football was always going to be a big ask.
Having only made 16 Premier League appearances since 2017, the former England international could be best served to use Arsenal training as a springboard back into top level football.
Arteta will know more than most about the quality he possesses on his day, having shared a dressing room with him in the past, so it could be a ‘never say never’ situation if Wilshere impresses on his way back to full match fitness.
The Arsenal boss was speaking ahead of their Saturday afternoon trip to Burnley, where they will hope to build on their solitary Premier League win this season which they earned against Norwich last weekend.
A number of selection headaches could torture the under pressure Gunners boss before they take to the field – none more so than in goal.
Bernd Leno was dropped for Aaron Ramsdale against Norwich, and the £24million man went on to notch his second clean sheet in as many games for Arsenal.
Leno, meanwhile, had shipped nine goals in the first three games of the campaign, leaving the door ajar for his less experienced counterpart.
As to whether Wilshere could play a part in turning Arsenal’s season around, his impact at present may well be limited to the training pitch. Still just 29-years-old, however, anything could happen down the line.
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