Wenger: I made a mistake letting Jack Wilshere leave Arsenal

Date published: Saturday 7th January 2017 10:17

Jack Wilshere: Linked with West Ham and Southampton

Arsene Wenger admits he regrets letting Jack Wilshere leave Arsenal on loan after admitting he could do with the midfielder’s services in midfield for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Preston.

Wilshere was allowed to leave the Gunners on a season-long loan move to Bournemouth in a bid to prove his fitness and earn a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.

The temporary move has done the England international good and he has enjoyed a run of games on the south coast, something he had failed to do in three years at Arsenal as he was plagued with injuries.

There is no option for Arsenal to recall the 25-year-old despite injuries ruling out Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, while Mohamed Elneny is away on international duty with Egypt.

Asked if he regretted allowing Wilshere to leave, Wenger said: “Yes, I could use him now.

“But if he had not played until now, he would not be ready to play now. What looks unfair at some moments in the season is that you know at some stage you could need the player.

“But even at the start you need to have the right balance between competition and numbers and chances for the player to play. And still today I think it was the right decision for him to go.”

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