Howe: Wilshere facing ‘interesting’ summer decision

Date published: Friday 31st March 2017 12:53

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe feels on loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere faces an “interesting” decision in the summer over where to further his career.

The 25-year-old swapped north London for the south coast in August, joining the Cherries for the remainder of the campaign as he looked to make the most of first-team opportunities.

Recently, though, Wilshere has not been able to force his way back into the side on a regular basis following recovery from an ankle injury and had to make do with a place on the bench for the last three matches before the international break.

Wilshere was not called up by new England boss Gareth Southgate and there has been speculation the combative midfielder might look to move abroad for the next stage of his development, with Italian club AC Milan one possible destination.

Howe has yet to rule out looking to make Wilshere’s transfer permanent and will keep a close eye on developments.

“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.”

Howe hinted he could bring Wilshere back into the team for Saturday’s late-kick off at south-coast rivals Southampton.

“He is certainly in the mix, a player of his quality,” Howe said at a press conference.

“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.”

Bournemouth would move above Southampton with a first ever away victory over their neighbours, and put themselves within touching distance of securing another campaign in the Premier League.

Howe, though, will take things one step at a time.

“From our perspective, it is a slightly different game, Southampton are the nearest club to us, so the supporters would feel the importance of this game and we respect that, we want to give them a win,” Howe said.

“It is a case of looking at the game, knowing its importance especially with the fixtures we have got to come beyond this one.”

Howe added: “We have had three really good results in our last three games, so there is some consistency there, but we know we have got a long way to go.

“Games like this one will define that, so we are looking for a good performance and then hopefully the result will follow.”

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