Football News

Mikel Arteta: Doors will be open for Jack Wilshere to return to Arsenal

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:16, 23 February 2022

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted the doors will be open for Jack Wilshere to return to the club as a coach, something he expects to happen.

Wilshere had been training with Arsenal this season after leaving Bournemouth in the summer, keeping his fitness up while searching for a new club. On Sunday the search was over and Wilshere had announced his next move, and a slightly surprising one.

The English midfielder, now 30, has joined Danish Superliga side Aarhus GF on a deal until the end of the season with an option to extend for a further year. Aarhus are currently seventh in the Danish Superliga and are in action on Friday evening against Vejle Boldklub, a game which could see Wilshere make his debut.

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The move was a positive end to what has been a tough period for Wilshere, who has struggled with injuries once again, playing just 1,773 minutes over the past three seasons for West Ham and Bournemouth since first leaving Arsenal in 2018.

Wilshere will now be looking to the future and aiming to rebuild his playing career, making the most of his move to Aarhus where he won’t be pressured to hit the heights of his Arsenal spell. But Arteta is looking even further forward and the potential for Wilshere to turn to coaching, expecting the Englishman to return to Arsenal at some point to work behind the scenes.

“One hundred per cent,” Arteta said when asked about a potential Wilshere return.

“I think everybody at the club will be willing to open the doors for him and try to find a role for him that can work for everybody.

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“I think that will happen naturally in the future.”

Arteta also praised Wilshere for his work while training with Arsenal and the impact he had on the club’s younger players, who will have gained priceless knowledge from playing alongside someone of his stature.

“First of all thank you for what he’s done all the time with us,” he added.

“It’s been great to have him. I think speaking on behalf of everyone at the club it’s been a pleasure to have Jack back, to enjoy watching him play again next to us, to have him around, his experience for all the young people.

“Hopefully we have helped him a little bit because he had some doubts over whether to start coaching or continue playing and I think this group of players have given him again that necessity to experience on a daily basis how magnificent it is to feel like a football player.

“I think he wants to feel that again and I wish him the best.”