Wilshere: I was losing the love for the game at Arsenal
Jack Wilshere has admitted he was falling out of love with football at Arsenal before joining Bournemouth on loan and winning back his place in the England squad.
Midfielder Wilshere has been recalled by caretaker manager Gareth Southgate for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Scotland and next week's Spain friendly after proving his fitness.
Wilshere missed most of last season after suffering a broken fibula in August 2015, but was still picked for Euro 2016 in France. Having been left out of Sam Allardyce's only England squad, and facing the prospect of spending too much time on the Arsenal substitutes' bench, Wilshere decided he needed to leave the club he had called home since the age of nine.
He was overlooked by Southgate for the last qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, but earned his recall by completing 90 minutes for the first time in two years in Bournemouth's game against Tottenham Hotspur. Speaking of the benefits of his move to Bournemouth, 24-year-old Wilshere said: "It was good for me. For my head. I wanted to get back playing week in, week out, being involved in the Premier League. I have missed a lot of football. I missed the fight of the Premier League, being involved in all the big games and making a difference for a team and I wanted to feel that again, and almost fall back in love with the game again."
Asked to expand on whether or not he had completely fallen out of love with football, Wilshere added: "I wouldn't say I did. I nearly did. It was a difficult time. As I said before, I was injured and it wasn't as if it was my first injury.
"The injury last season was the hardest to take mentally because I have been through a lot. I had come back, played for England, scored a couple of goals. I came back in pre-season, felt good and it was the best I have felt a while. It was a freak tackle in training. Just a little kick and I got this injury and it took forever to heal. It was dealing with that, going to the training ground and when you do that for eight months to a year, it is tough to take."
Wilshere will not make any decisions on his long-term future while he is at Bournemouth. "I love Arsenal, but if there comes a time when I have to leave, then I have to leave," he said. "If I go back and I'm still not playing then, of course, I will have to think about things."
(© Daily Telegraph, London)