Arsenal midfielder Wilshere could see his future elsewhere, admits Howe
The on-loan England international is set to be in-demand after the 2016-17 season and his manager at Bournemouth knows he may not be able to keep him
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe concedes on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere may see his future elsewhere, but still hopes to sign him permanently at the end of the season.
Wilshere is at Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners, with AC Milan and West Ham among the clubs reportedly keen to move for him if he opts not to extend his contract at Emirates Stadium, which expires in 2018.
The 25-year-old has played 24 Premier League games this season, but has been left out of Howe’s starting line-up for four consecutive matches, including Saturday’s 0-0 derby draw against Southampton.
Howe insists Wilshere’s substitute status is no reflection on his performances and is still eager to secure him for next term, even though there will be other options on the table.
“I have always said, ‘We love Jack, we would love to sign him’,” the Bournemouth manager told reporters.
“But that decision will rest with Arsenal, with Jack, with other people. It is out of our hands and Jack may well see his future elsewhere.
“He did say as soon as he came to us that he would totally commit to us for the season and then in the summer sort out his future.
“Jack obviously wouldn’t want to start from the bench, he would want to be playing, but since the Manchester United game – he felt his ankle against Manchester City – the team has done very well and it is very difficult to take either centre-forward out.
“We have got real competition in that position. You have seen Harry Arter come off the bench – he has been outstanding for us this season – you have got Jack and Dan Gosling’s done very well for us in recent weeks.
“What he has done when he has come on is showed he has got a great attitude; he has trained so well and that has reflected when he has come on the pitch. He has been outstanding, he really was the defining factor in us gaining total control [against Southampton].
“If you look at Jack’s season overall, there is massive, massive positives. He has played so many games, a lot of 90 minutes – this is just a little spell where he has been out of the team but he is still coming on to great effect. Overall he has stayed fit.
“There’s so many variables, there’s so many things that can change, it is not the right time [to concentrate on his future].”
Bournemouth are away to Liverpool on Wednesday, with Wilshere – who was not included in the last England squad – hoping a knee injury to Andrew Surman could end his spell on the bench.