Wilshere grateful for Cherries spell


Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere feels he developed as a player during last year’s loan stint with Bournemouth.

The 26-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements at the Emirates during the summer of 2016 and Arsene Wenger took the decision to allow the England man to spent a season at the Vitality Stadium.

While he failed to score a goal, Wilshere did make 27 top-flight appearances and helped the south-coast outfit remain in the Premier League.

Many thought he might return to play under Eddie Howe but Wenger opted to hand him another chance with the Gunners, and he has scored a couple of goals from 19 appearances in all competitions.

A run of games is what the talented schemer now needs if he is to stand a chance of making it on the plane to Russia for the World Cup this summer.

Wilshere’s skills and trickery are well known but he feels he has now developed another side to his game, thanks to his spell with the Cherries.

“It was a good year,” he told the Arsenal Magazine. “I really enjoyed it. I’ve got some good friends in Bournemouth, the manager was great for me.

“I think it was good for me as a player and a person to experience that because I’ve always been at Arsenal. Arsenal is a top, top club where most of the time you’re in possession of the ball and, of course, you have to work on the defensive side, but it’s sort of the other way around at Bournemouth.

“A lot of the time, especially when we were playing the top teams, we didn’t have the ball and it improved me defensively and made me understand that side of the game a lot more.”

Arsenal travel to face Bournemouth on Sunday and punters looking to use a free bet might fancy Wilshire to inspire the visitors to take all three points before they host Crystal Palace on January 20.