Wilshere will walk if he can't get starting place

LONDON • Midfielder Jack Wilshere will not hesitate to leave Arsenal when his loan spell at Bournemouth ends if he fails to break back into manager Arsene Wenger's first-team plans.

Once regarded as one of the brightest young hopes in English football, the 24-year-old fell out of favour at Arsenal after managing only 17 games in two injury-blighted seasons, and joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan in August.

"Of course I love Arsenal, but if there comes a time when I have to leave, then I have to leave," he told British media on Tuesday. "If I go back and I'm still not playing then, of course, I will have to think about things.

"At the moment I'm concentrating on Bournemouth. I want to put myself in a position where I go back next year and I'm a better player and I can play week in, week out."

Wilshere, who has been recalled by England interim boss Gareth Southgate for tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Scotland and a friendly against Spain, also said his move to Bournemouth was a much needed boost.

"It was good for me. For my head. I wanted to get back playing week in, week out, being involved in the Premier League. I have missed a lot of football," he said.

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  • Jack Wilshere has completed three full Premier League games for Bournemouth, two more than in the Englishman's last two injury-plagued seasons for parent club Arsenal.

"I missed the fight of the Premier League, being involved in all the big games and making a difference for a team and I wanted to feel that again, and almost fall back in love with the game again.

"When you are injured... it is hard. It is difficult. I needed it for myself."

He also concluded Arsenal were moving on without him and that even when he was fully fit, he was in danger of "being the player that comes on now and again, or starts the odd Cup game here and there".

Being left out of former manager Sam Allardyce's England squad provided hard evidence that it may affect his international career and, plainly, a man of 34 caps does not regard Bournemouth as beneath him.

"It is different," he says. "The training ground is smaller and the stadium is different but one thing which is similar is the way both teams want to play football.

"There are a few things that are different but I really like the manager (Eddie Howe). He's been good for me, we speak quite a lot and I am in a good place, I am happy."

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'Wilshere will walk if he can't get starting place'. Print Edition | Subscribe