Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere deserves an Arsenal contract extension that makes him happy and still believes the 26-year-old can be one of the club’s future leaders.
Having returned from last season’s loan spell at Bournemouth with another injury and with his current deal set to end in June, few saw the midfielder’s long-term future at the Emirates. To his credit, he’s managed to turn things around for himself, building up his fitness in the first half of the season before coming to the fore in recent weeks.
The boss, who has always been a fan of a player he debuted at just 16, has been as impressed as anyone and it appears an agreement on future financial terms is edging closer.
“I see him here because he is an Arsenal man,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“He was here at the age of 10 and I believe as well he’s not only been here for a long time but he has some leadership qualities. He has a football brain. He is completely focused on Arsenal.
“The fact that he has been away and come back makes him realise as well that life here is not so bad maybe. That is something that is important that he can be one of the leaders in the future.
“He is much more patient and mature now. Before his desire to play was the only thing that mattered. Today he can analyse better. Is he fit or not fit? What is he to do? He has a lot of prevention to do and he does that religiously now. Before he was a bit more, ‘My body can take that’ like we all are when we are 20 years old.
“Who would question his love and commitment for the club,” Wenger added. “Nobody. We have to find an agreement that makes him happy and the wish that in the future he remains fit.”