Wednesday 12 December 2018

John Giles: Arsene Wenger must ask himself one important question before he offers Jack Wilshere a new deal

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is pushing for an England place
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is pushing for an England place

John Giles

Jack Wilshere looks hungry.

Perhaps the penny has dropped, perhaps he’s showing for a new contract but either way, he’s displaying some of the form which made me tip him as the best midfield playmaker of his generation.

He’s a classic case of ‘too much, too young’ but at 26, he still has time to fulfil at least some of that potential and from what I can see, he wants to do that at Arsenal. Whether he gets the chance remains to be seen.

Wilshere has all the money he will ever need and he’s an Arsenal lad.

If he has woken up to the fact that a career is fleeting and he needs to knuckle down, Arsene Wenger can finally tap into a talent which promised so much.

It’s an interesting one for Wenger. He hasn’t offered Wilshere a new deal and he is free to go where he wants during the summer.

There are so few players with his ability that Wenger must make a very careful judgement. Has he really changed his ways?

My advice to Wenger would be to offer him a performance-based deal and do it as soon as possible before agents take hold of it and other clubs try to tempt him.

I think Wilshere would go for it, based on my belief that he is a Gunners fan and will feel he owes his own people something.

But I do think other big clubs would be interested in him and his resolve to be an Arsenal hero will be tested, perhaps is being tested right now.

There is also the possibility that Wilshere has dusted himself down and started to perform simply because his deal at the Emirates has less than six months to run and the transfer window is open.

But my gut feeling is that he has woken up to reality and has found the hunger he needs to be a top player.

I hope he has, because there’s no doubt that when he’s in the humour, he can play.

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