Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted Arsenal players were caught on the hop by Jack Wilshere’s loan departure to Bournemouth.
The England midfielder decided late in the transfer window that he wasn’t going to get enough playing time this season and opted for a season with the south coast club, and the Ox is hoping he can return to North London to stake his place again for the Gunners.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a surprise,” he said ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Malta on Saturday.
“I give him a lot of credit for having the courage and the fight to make something like that happen. He felt it was right for him and he went and did it and I have a lot of respect for that.
“I hope he comes back,” he continued. “He’s been the star boy of Arsenal. Fans love him.
“He’s an amazing talent and an integral part of the squad.”
Part of the reason Wilshere was allowed go was because he wasn’t necessarily integral, but Arsene Wenger remains a huge believer in his talent, so let’s see what this season brings for him.