Are Arsenal about to have an exodus on their hands? Their approach to contract negotiations with Jack Wilshere certainly seems that way. The midfielder has made it clear that he would like to stay with the Gunners, but with his contract expiring at the end of this season, they have asked him to take a paycut and Wilshere is hesitant.
Both the Mirror and the Mail are reporting that Everton are willing to cut in with a better deal for the player this summer. He is currently on a £110,000-a-week contract, and Arsenal have made him one offer so far for £90,000-a-week. However, the Blues are promising the Englishman a large signing fee as well as better wages than what the London club are offering.
Jack Wilshere. This season at Bournemouth compared to his 13-14 season at Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/h1c6WXcbWP— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) December 7, 2016
Wilshere has been a very good midfielder but has really struggled to stay fit and on the pitch. Also, while he’s only 26 years old, he has struggled mightily in recent years to replicate his form from when he first broke into the Arsenal squad.
The Gunners loaned him out to AFC Bournemouth last season in a bit to get him to regain his form after missing most of the 2015-16 season where he played only six games following a hairline fracture in his calfbone. Before the end of the last season he had a recurrence of the same fracture that kept him out for a further few months. The previous year he was out with an ankle injury and played just 24 times in all competitions.
This season he has been a mainstay in the Europa League for Arsenal, featuring in a total of 32 games overall, but has only started in ten Premier League games. The arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in January has made his situation even further untenable. Despite that, he has featured in most of Arsenal’s key domestic games this season including the EFL Cup final loss against Manchester City, both semifinals and the Community Shield win against Chelsea and throughout the busy holiday season.
At Everton, he would likely join the midfield rotation but usually plays a deeper-lying role that would keep him out of the way of the surfeit of attacking midfielders the Blues find themselves with. Provided he can stay fit, he would be interesting competition for Wayne Rooney in his newfound role of central midfielder where he can dictate play from.
Paired up with a defensive midfield dynamo like Idrissa Gueye though, Wilshere could be in his element developing play in front of him and providing the conduit to Gylfi Sigurdsson at the #10 spot and the two wingers on the outside.
The Englishman has 34 senior caps with 2 goals, and a total of 14 goals and 30 assists in 217 games for Arsenal and the Cherries. He would be most certainly welcomed to the Blues with open arms by his former teammate Theo Walcott, who has been excellent so far.