Jack Wilshere set to leave Arsenal: 6 possible destinations
Jack Wilshere's 17-year stay at Arsenal will terminate once his contract expires at the end of June. After holding talks with new boss Unai Emery, the English midfielder confirmed his decision via Instagram three days ago.
With that, a few intriguing questions open up. Which clubs might show interest? Where should he choose to go?
We examine six potential suitors for Wilshere's signature this summer.
Already heavily linked, joining Crystal Palace would make sense for both parties. It offers Wilshere the chance to remain in London, as well as reunite with Roy Hodgson, the manager who previously made him England's fulcrum.
The Eagles haven't extended Yohann Cabaye's contract. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, has returned to Chelsea after his loan spell ended. Palace need a Wilshere-type player next season, one proficient at carrying the ball from midfield.
Although wages could be a potential stumbling block, losing high earners such as Cabaye and Bakary Sako means Palace can strike a deal.
Having had a reasonably successful loan spell at Bournemouth two years ago, could Wilshere be tempted to return on a permanent basis?
The midfielder may decide it's in his best interest. He already knows the club, area and manager. Eddie Howe is considered a close match in terms of style to Arsene Wenger. Furthermore, Wilshere was in decent form for the Cherries before a broken leg struck him down. The opportunity to complete some unfinished business could appeal.
Delivering a marquee signing this summer would be another symbol of Bournemouth's progress. Howe, notorious for taking time with new arrivals, wouldn't need to ease Wilshere in. Putting him straight into the first team would improve service to the front men.
A club desperate for something different. Despite Everton's huge spending spree last summer, their squad is highly unbalanced. It's overrun by number tens, such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen, as well as holding midfielders including Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin. Other than the inexperienced Tom Davies, the Toffees lack a natural deep-lying playmaker. Wilshere fits the bill.
Goodison Park would offer the 26-year-old a fresh start away from London's hustle. Moving to Everton, a team aiming to break the ceiling of the big six under exciting, new manager Marco Silva, could be what Wilshere needs to reignite his career.
If Wilshere opts to remain in England's capital, West Ham United is a decent call. Joao Mario's return to Inter Milan after his loan spell ended means the Hammers have a hole to fill. Having replaced David Moyes as manager, Manuel Pellegrini may provide a lifeline to the Arsenal departee.
West Ham is another side with ambitions to climb the Premier League ladder. Wilshere may want to play a role in it. Although his wage demands could scupper any potential deal, the Hammers have already signified their intentions with two signings this summer. Adding Wilshere, alongside Issa Diop and Lukasz Fabianski, would further prove they mean business next season.
If you're thinking what has this guy been smoking, hear me out first. With Marouane Fellaini set to depart and Michael Carrick having retired, Manchester United require another central midfielder. Fred has joined, but he isn't a replacement for the former England international. The Brazilian's playing style is too different.
Wilshere, meanwhile, is similar to Carrick. He sprays passes from deep and drives forward with the ball. Furthermore, the Red Devils can snap him up on a free transfer.
Last season, Man United added Javier Ribalta to their scouting team. Over the years, he specialised in securing out of contract players at Juventus, including talents such as Andrea Pirlo, Sami Khedira, Patrice Evra and Dani Alves. United may look to follow that model.
Although some may jeer Wilshere for joining a rival, he'd be a fool to turn down any deal from Jose Mourinho. A transfer to Old Trafford would offer a final chance to prove he can perform on the biggest stage.
A manager, not a team. But it's still possible. Wenger has made known his desire to remain in club management. Unlikely to stay in the Premier League next campaign, the Frenchman could persuade a former player to join him in a foreign land.
Wilshere would not only have the opportunity to reunite with a manager he spent ten seasons under, he'd get to test his skill set abroad. Not many English players choose that particular route.
👋 Wilshere has officially announced that he will be leaving #Arsenal at the end of this month.— TheSportsman Transfers (@TSMTransfers) June 20, 2018
West Ham have drifted from 6/4 to 3/1 to sign him, but he could still see his future in the Premier League...#WHUFC