Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is considering offering Jack Wilshere the chance to train with the first team to help relaunch his career. After Bournemouth released the midfielder in the summer, the former Arsenal midfielder is currently without a club. Since then, he has been honest about his struggles with mental health.
In 2018, Wilshere signed a three-year contract with West Ham United to obtain regular Premier League minutes.
As a result of Wilshere’s lack of appearances for the Hammers over the past two years, his contract was mutually terminated in October 2020.
In January this year, he joined Bournemouth on a short-term deal, featuring 17 times before his release.
He’s been without a club for the last few months but has an enticing opportunity from an old friend on his road to redemption.
Last week, Arteta detailed Wilshere’s strong relationship with the club and opened the door for him to return and train with the first-team squad.
He said: “[Wilshere] is someone that I know who I shared the dressing room with, someone who is so loved around the club with every person here and our doors are always open.”
In response, Wilshere has revealed he’ll be in touch with the club in the coming days over the possibility of training with Arteta’s squad.
“I spent the majority of my life in that club, I gave a lot to that club,” Wilshere explained.
“To hear the manager – who I played with, who I had a good relationship with, I really enjoyed playing with him, sharing the dressing room with him – to hear him come out and say the door is always open is nice. It can only help me.
“Being around good players, training with world-class players and as well just being in a team environment is something I’m interested in.
“I’m sure that I’ll have a conversation with someone at the club over the next couple of days.”
Wilshere was at Arsenal throughout the entirety of Arteta’s playing stint from 2011 to 2016.
The midfield duo excelled at times under Arsene Wenger, and that relationship has clearly carried over since.
Wilshere will be looking to make good of his chance to gain fitness and experience amongst top-class players again.
The former England international has recently discussed his ongoing mental battles and support from people in the game.
Speaking as part of a mental health campaign between CALM and Original Penguin, Wilshere has expressed his troubles after being released by Bournemouth and training by himself.
He told Sky Sports: “When I spoke out that I was training on my own, that I was having these thoughts of: ‘what am I training for?’
“The response from everyone really – but mainly people in the game that I respect, ex-players, people that I look up to reaching out to me, saying you’ve still got a lot to give – it made me even more hungry to come back and just enjoy my football again.
“We as players have to be willing to speak up, speak about our feelings and realise it’s not a weakness, it’s actually really brave and people will help you if you need help.”