Arsene Wenger fears Jack Wilshere will not enjoy a 'great' career at Arsenal to injury woes

Mark Critchley
The Independent
Jack Wilshere has made 27 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth this season: Getty
Jack Wilshere has made 27 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth this season: Getty

Arsène Wenger fears Jack Wilshere is missing the “consistency of presence” which top footballers require in order to enjoy a “great” career, following the midfielder's latest injury setback.

Wilshere, who has spent the season on loan at Bournemouth, suffered a hairline fracture to his left fibia in the 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and will be sidelined for the rest of his side’s campaign.

This injury is the latest in a long line of setbacks for the 25-year-old midfielder and comes at a crucial phase of his career, with only a year left to run on his contract with Arsenal.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Sunday, Wenger lamented the player's misfortune with injury, which he believes has so far prevented the player from enjoying a “great” career in the game.

“Today at the top level the most important thing is the consistency of the presence," he said. “When a player has been out for a while, the game is of such intensity that it always takes a while to find the rhythm and get the confidence back.

“A great career doesn't suffer, stop and go, you have to be consistently present,” Wenger added.

“When you look at all the players who are at the top level of the world, like Ronaldo and these guys, they play 50 or 60 games a year. They have the luck not to be stopped by injuries, and so it's always sad when a guy of that quality is always stopped by problems.”

Despite Wilshere's fitness record, Wenger insisted the latest setback will not influence forthcoming contract negotiations with midfielder, which he expects will be held in the summer.

“This injury has nothing to do with the extension of Jack's contract," the Arsenal manager said. “I don't know, we haven't entered into any negotiations.

“I think for all these cases where there is only one year to go, we will enter into negotiations during the break.”

Wenger described Wilshere’s injury as only “a very simple fracture of the fibula” which will not require surgery and is hopeful that the midfielder will be available to take part in pre-season training with his parent club.

“I follow the situation closely because he sees a specialist,” Wenger said. “We think it's a very simple fracture which doesn't need any surgery at all, hopefully he'll be back in July for normal training.

“I had a meeting with our medical staff to see how we can liaise and if we have to bring him back but because it's a fracture so there's not a lot to do, just wait until when he can move again.”​

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