Arsene Wenger says he has no interest in selling midfielder Jack Wilshere to Manchester City this summer.
Wilshere, who has been out injured since late November with another ankle problem, is set to make a return to competitive action for Arsenal at Burnley this weekend but faces a battle to win his place back given the team’s excellent recent form.
However, Wenger told a news conference that Arsenal had no interest in selling the 23-year-ild Wilshere:
“We are not in a position anymore where we have to sell our best players,” Wenger said. “We cannot make a case of any headline in any newspaper in a press conference from things that are not true.”
The question for Wenger is why not? When Wilshere broke into the Arsenal line-up in 2011 and famously starred against Barcelona in the Champions League, he was widely viewed as the most gifted English midfielder since Paul Gascoigne.
But since that memorable night at the Emirates, Wilshere has battled one ankle injury after another and I wonder if Paul Scholes was right when he said that the 22-year-old
“does not look any better a player now than when he was 17”.
Wilshere has been at Arsenal since he was 9, but for the first time since he broke into the Arsenal line-up, if everyone is fit, Wilshere cannot get in the Arsenal side. On form, Wenger already has Ozil, Ramsey, Corzola and Coquelin ahead of him.
At times, Wilshere has shown glimpses of a player who has world class potential. But that potential will never be realized if he is always injured. Remarkably, despite breaking into the Arsenal line-up 5 years ago, Wilshere has yet to make 100 appearances for the Gunners.
So why would Wenger not consider selling someone who is essentially a squad player to Manchester City? If you take the emotion out of the decision, would you consider selling Wilshere this summer if you were Arsenal?