Jack Wilshere does not know if his Arsenal career has come to an end.
The 24-year-old joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal in August and has impressed in his spell on the south coast, having helped Eddie Howe’s side to four wins and two draws in six Premier League games.
A succession of injury problems saw him fall down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, while manager Arsene Wenger has bolstered his options in central midfield with the signings of Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka in 2016.
And Wilshere, who has a contract with Arsenal until 2018, says he could pursue his career elsewhere as he looks to recapture his best form.
“I haven’t really thought about my future beyond getting a season under my belt and just trying to improve as a player,” he told The Daily Mail. “I genuinely don’t know if I am going to end up at Arsenal or somewhere else.
“If you’d asked me two months ago if I was going to finish my career at Arsenal then I would have said, ‘Yeah, of course’.
“The fans have been great to me, the boss has been great to me. I have a lot of friends there. But sometimes that’s the way football is. Two months ago I wouldn’t have seen myself being here, but here I am. And I’m enjoying it.”
Wilshere says Wenger assured him he would be given game time if he stayed at Arsenal, but being left out of the England squad in August convinced him to leave in order to resurrect his career.
“It was the final straw,” he said. “‘It hurt not being in there.
“There were a lot of midfielders and the manager brought another one in. I’d been injured for a while, and I was thinking I was at a stage of my career where I needed to play. I’m 24 and I’ve already missed too much football, and if I want to get to where I want to be it’d be no good coming off the bench in every game.
“I spoke to the boss and he said, ‘You will play’. But I wanted more than that. I want to play week in, week out, be an important player for the team.”
Wilshere added that AC Milan expressed an interest in signing him, although it never materialised into a concrete offer.
“Milan sent an email by all accounts,” he said. “They said to come over but there was nothing firm in the offering. And I thought, I’m not going to come over if there’s nothing really doing.”