Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is finally making his loan move, and it is not the much fancied clubs AS Roma or AC Milan but England’s Bournemouth.
According to reports from Sky Sports, Wilshere also had the option of joining Crystal Palace but has instead preferred to make the journey to Dorset Coast to play under Eddie Howe and will now have his medical at Bournemouth.
Till Wednesday morning, Wilshere had a clear cut option between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth as his destination. However, come afternoon and AS Roma and fellow Serie A rivals AC Milan had joined in the race to sign the 24-year-old, making the situation more complicated.
Indeed, Roma were prepared to meet his £80,000 per week wage demands, and for a while Wilshere seemed set to become the second Englishman after Hart to land on Italian soil. However, joining Roma also meant that he would have to fight it out in midfield with Daniele de Rossi, Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainngolan and Leandro Paredes.
But for a man desperate to play football, that may not have been a wise decision.
Injury plagued for most of last season, Wilshere came back only to find that he was behind the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka in the Arsenal pecking order.
Subsequently, England boss Sam Allardyce, who prefers to go for regular players instead of simply reputed ones, left him out of the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying clash with Slovakia.
Arsene Wenger himself believes Wilshere still has a long-term role at the Emirates but feels he will benefit from playing regularly.
To that effect, the decision to join Bournemouth, a club looking to cement itself in the top flight and to play under a bright, young English manager looking to properly establish his side in the league, appeals to Wilshere.
Bournemouth, it seems, also had a trump card in the form of former Gunners Benik Afobe, who moved to the Cherries from Wolves for £12 million in January.
Afobe and Wilshere are best friends and Afobe is also godfather to Wilshere’s child. The relationship was key for Bournemouth, who managed to pull off one of the biggest coups amid interests from numerous clubs across Europe.
Wilshere, after he passes the medical, will play for Bournemouth in a season-long loan, and regular playing time for a player of his quality will do him a world of good, provided he stays uninjured.
Wilshere had played a total of just 141 minutes for the Gunners last season.