Arsene Wenger sees Jack Wilshere’s long-term future as being at Arsenal and insists the England midfielder has nothing to prove to him but his fitness.
Wilshere secured a season-long loan move to Bournemouth on transfer deadline day as he seeks to rebuild from two seasons decimated by injury problems.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League match versus Southampton, Wenger played down the notion of a rift between himself and the 24-year-old, who he credited with having world-class ability.
“We had a chat together. He himself was concerned that he would not get enough competitive football early enough because he feels ready to play,” Wenger explained.
“I could not guarantee that so that’s why it’s a decision we thought would be logical, for him to come back to a competitive level.
“At some stage you need competition and I couldn’t guarantee him that.
“The challenge for Jack is to play the games. He wanted games and I felt it was a logical decision.
“You cannot be out for two seasons and then want to be at the top level. It is important for him that he gets games.
“I hope personally that he stays his whole career here. He is a world class player. He doesn’t have to show me his quality.”
Wenger welcomed suggestions that Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will deploy Wilshere in an attacking role, starting with Saturday’s home match against West Brom.
“Personally it’s where I prefer him,” he said. “I think Jack Wilshere is a world class player, has a great football brain and understands everything that’s going on on a football pitch.
“He’s most dangerous when you give him the ball in the final third. For me, it was always a shame that he played too deep. I like him closer to the goal because he can create.”
There will be extra intrigue over Howe’s use of Wilshere in light of rumours he is in the frame to be Wenger’s long-term successor at Arsenal.
“Yes but, you know, honestly I don’t know who will take my job one day; I don’t know who will take your job one day,” the Frenchman replied to a question on the subject.
“These are questions that are impossible to answer
“I will do my best as long as I am here and I wish the best to the guy that comes after me.”