Could Wilshere snub Arsenal for City?


Wilshere is one of Arsenal’s own, a product of the fabled Hale End academy and an example to young recruits that it is possible to make a first-team breakthrough.

The reality is that Wilshere will sit with his influential father, Andy, at the end of the season to discuss whether a move to City would enhance his career and not just his bank balance.

Whatever manager Arsene Wenger has to say before Arsenal’s clash with Burnley on Saturday, Wilshere to Manchester City, as revealed in Sportsmail yesterday, is undoubtedly in the works.

He is on the list of Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football. At 23, he is a young English player who could bring down the average age of this City squad — if they could prise him from the Emirates.

It will not be easy. Wilshere has always maintained that he wants to remain at Arsenal for the rest of his career. City, though, offer a fresh start and it is possible that Wilshere needs a change of environment after another frustrating season on the sidelines.

It is also a well-trodden path for Arsenal players in recent seasons, with Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna leaving the rhythmic, first-touch football at the Emirates for super-sized salaries at City.

It is not an easy decision, particularly with the vulgar salaries on offer at the Etihad and the inevitable accusations of being a mercenary, but this is key moment in Wilshere’s career.

The midfielder is already paid handsomely — £130,000 a week all in when he starts for Arsenal — but injuries are a constant source of frustration for Wilshere.

He has not played a first-team game for Arsenal since November 22, when he was substituted 55 minutes into the 2-1 defeat by Manchester United at the Emirates with an ankle injury.

In the past, Wilshere has been built up too soon, championed as a future Arsenal and England captain when he has yet to even make 100 starts for his club in the Barclays Premier League.

Even former England captain Steven Gerrard claimed he had the ability to become one of the best midfielders in the world before he played Brazil at Wembley in February 2013.

‘Jack’s got a bit of everything. He can tackle, pass, get up and down the pitch, create a goal or score a goal,’ said Gerrard at the time.

‘He ticks almost every box, and he’s going to get better and better. He has the potential to become one of the best in the world.

‘I don’t want to put any pressure on him, but having played against him and seen him in training, he’s a one-off. He’s a lot better than your normal Premier League midfielder.’

The truth is that Wilshere needs time, room to breathe again after being championed ever since he scored that magnificent goal for Arsenal’s reserve team against West Ham at Barnet’s Underhill Stadium in 2008. Wenger was there that night, grinning with approval in the stands after the 16-year-old’s curling left-foot effort confirmed his status as one of the club’s rising stars. He earned instant comparison to Liam Brady.

Since then Wilshere has made the grade with the first team, an established member of a core group of players who are enjoying the club’s soothing possession football. On present form Arsenal are the best team to watch in the Premier League and Wilshere, recovering from his latest injury, would dearly love to be part of it.

Although dad Andy is a West Ham fan, his son is Arsenal through and through, as he demonstrated after last season’s dramatic victory over Hull City in the FA Cup. During the victory parade, just hours before he joined up with the England squad to begin preparations for the World Cup in Brazil, he mischievously grabbed the microphone to ask the fans: ‘What do you think of Tottenham?’

The answer was well-publicised at the time, but the more pertinent question is whether Wilshere can reclaim his first place in this developing Arsenal team.

With England, manager Roy Hodgson plays him at the base of his midfield diamond, but at Arsenal Wenger prefers him in a pairing behind the main attackers.

With Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey the favoured attacking players behind Olivier Giroud, this is not an easy team for Wilshere to get into next season.

At 23 he has time on his side and even at the end of this season there are still three years to run on his current contract.

Soon enough there will be a decision to be made for all concerned. – Daily Mail

Original source: Could Wilshere snub Arsenal for City?