Wenger ready to do battle to retain Jack Wilshere

Rumors of Jack Wilshere leaving Arsenal at the end of the season has reemerged, but his coach wants all his attention focused on getting back into the Gunners team.

Arsene Wenger has sworn to “fight 100 perent” for the midfielder’s career at the North London club if he thinks Wilshere’s career will be better off at the club.

Wilshere is one of a number of players at the club whose contract expires at the end of the season, leading to heavy rumors of a move in the summer.

The England international was sent out on loan to Bournemouth last season in a bid to get back his fitness and secure a spot in the Arsenal team, but he has only featured for 48 minutes in the Premier League this season, all as a substitute.

Wilshere’s time at the Emirates has been terribly plagued with injuries, but he is fit ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Huddersfield Town on Wednesday.

And Wenger says that keeping fit – rather than earning a new deal – should be a top priority for the 25-year-old at the moment.

“For him, it’s just about being fit and considered like any other player in the squad,” Wenger told reporters at his pre-match news conference.

“He’s at that level now where every opportunity is a good chance for him to commit to his long-term future.

“I don’t think about the long term. For him I always consider his interest because he’s an Arsenal player since he was a kid and I think about what’s best for him, regardless of the decision I make.

“If I think it right and in his best interests for him to stay here, then I fight 100 per cent for him to stay because he’s a top-quality guy and is back fit now.

“When you have a top-quality player you want them to stay.”

It was also put to Wenger that he has substituted Alexandre Lacazette 10 times in the Premier League this season, but the manager insisted there is nothing unusual behind that statistic.

He said: “First of all, I’d like to say that you sub strikers more than defenders because they have to create, provoke and be incisive.

“But I think he has adapted physically to the Premier League and I am very happy with him.

“I also do it [substitute Lacazette because I have options on the bench who are fresh and can give us other variations in attack.

“Physically, the Premier League is very demanding and demands a lot of work. If you look at other teams they also change strikers after 70 or 80 minutes.

“Sometimes they [strikers] work on their own against two or three people. In attack you provoke, and at the back to respond, and that [provoking] is more difficult, more demanding.”


Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, You may have seen my work on The Football Weeks and Its Round and Its White. I'm also a keen music fan