Mikel Arteta has offered an olive branch to free-agent Jack Wilshere, opening up a possibility for the midfielder to train with the club.
In 2011, against a formidable, all-conquering Barcelona side managed by Pep Guardiola, a star emerged from the stables of Arsenal. Jack Wilshere broke through the first team that season and played a vital role in the Gunners’ famous victory against the Blaugrana in the Champions League.
For his performances and talent, Wilshere was touted as a generational talent. For a decent period, he delivered on the promise before the injury curse hit the midfielder harder than anyone else in that period. The England star faced prolonged periods on the treatment table as his Arsenal career steadily deteriorated.
Eventually, he left the club the same summer as Arsene Wenger and endured underwhelming spells at West Ham United and later at Bournemouth. While injuries have been the main issue, Wilshere has been relatively fit since January 2020 and remains desperate to play for another club.
While he remains without a club, Wilshere recently revealed his plight in an interview with David Ornstein of The Athletic. The former Arsenal star expressed his disappointment at not playing for a football club with no viable offers forthcoming. He has been training regularly in England with clubs, while recently, he was known to take part in sessions at Serie B outfit Calcio Como.
"It's a project that we believed in" 👷♂️
"Only one thing is acceptable and it's to be the best" 🥇
"Our door is always open for [Jack Wilshere]" 🤗
Mikel Arteta speaks to the press ahead of Saturday's game with Norwich 🗣 pic.twitter.com/YwOK6S98Wp
— Goal (@goal) September 9, 2021
During his pre-Norwich press conference, Mikel Arteta was directly asked if Wilshere would be allowed to train with the club, and the manager gave a rather positive response.
Arteta said, “[He is] someone that I know that I shared the dressing room with. Someone who is so loved around the club with every person here, and our doors are always open.”
Despite signing Albert Sambi Lokonga this summer, there are short-term problems in midfield at Arsenal, with Granit Xhaka suspended for three games, while Thomas Partey has been in and out of the team with persistent injuries. However, it would be unprecedented to expect the club to sign Wilshere on a contract at this stage, but they could help him train with the team.
However, if he shows enough quality to warrant a contract, Arsenal can experiment and offer him a short term deal if it helps all parties. Wilshere began his career at the Gunners’ academy and made 198 appearances during his stay and earned several caps for England as well.