Arsenal's Jack Wilshere facing 'interesting' decision over long-term future, says Eddie Howe

SAM LONG
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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is facing an "interesting" decision over his long-term future, according to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

Wilshere has long been regarded as one of Arsenal's most naturally gifted players but a string of injuries has seen him struggle to fulfill his potential at Emirates Stadium.

The 25-year-old joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal last August in an effort to secure regular game time and now has just 14 months left on his current Gunners contract.

But Wilshere's form for the Cherries has not been enough to secure an international recall while the midfielder has found himself on the bench for the South Coast club's last three Premier League fixtures.

Wilshere's career will be at a crossroads at the end of the season and Howe, who is yet to indicate whether Bournemouth are keen on a permanent deal for the midfielder, is adamant the England international has plenty to mull over.

"Jack will be the one who decides his future, in conjunction with Arsenal," Howe said.

"It was very clear at the start of this loan he was going to make his decision in terms of the next steps for him in the summer.

"He just wanted to concentrate on his football with us, to try to just have the best season that he can.

"Jack has certainly had a good season with us as far as I am concerned, and it will be interesting to see what happens beyond that point."

Bournemouth have picked up seven points from a possible nine during Wilshere's absence in recent weeks.

But Howe is convinced the midfielder could feature in this weekend's derby against Southampton and says the decision to leave the loanee out has been due to the impressive form of other players rather than a dip in Wilshere's individual performances.

"He is certainly in the mix, a player of his quality," Howe added.

"Jack picked up an ankle injury against Manchester City and in the following games we have picked up some good results, so it has been difficult to change a winning team when it is performing so well.

"We know his qualities and he is ready to go if he is selected on Saturday."

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