Arsene Wenger has shrugged off claims from Jack Wilshere that he wants Bournemouth to beat his parent club Arsenal on Sunday, insisting it is “normal”.
Wilshere is on a season-long loan at the Vitality Stadium in an attempt to cure his persistent injury problems and become accustomed to playing regular first-team football.
The England midfielder said earlier this week he hopes Eddie Howe’s men triumph in north London at the weekend – a match Wilshere is unable to play in – but Wenger was not concerned.
Wenger told a news conference: “That’s normal. When you sign for a club you are committed to that project for the season, you can’t say you want your team to lose.”
Asked if he has spoken to Wilshere since he left the Emirates, Wenger added: “Not since he has left, no, I leave him to deal with his manager.
“I ask every week, ‘how did he play’? When I can watch him on TV I do and I am happy that he has had no injuries since he left.
“I am happy that he has developed well, it was a good decision for him to go to Bournemouth because he gets regular football and on my observations he’s getting stronger every week.
“This is what he needed; to play regular football to help him develop and get him back to the level he deserves to be.”
Wenger also reiterated his desire to hand Wilshere a new contract with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2018.
“Yes, of course. We have to plan that [contract talks] around the new year,” he added.