By Alex Taylor
Arsenal legend Paul Merson has slammed the club for allowing Jack Wilshere to leave on loan this summer.
The 24-year-old creative midfielder signed on a season-long loan to Bournemouth on Wednesday evening before the 11pm transfer deadline.
Arsene Wenger is keen to give Wilshere a taste of regular football and will be able to keep a close eye on his progress as the midfielder remains in the Premier League.
“I was shocked they let him go,” Merson told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast programme on talkSPORT. “If I am 1-0 down with ten minutes to go, who do I want to come on: Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Jack Wilshere?
“Jack Wilshere is the one that can make things happen, especially in a tight game where teams are sitting 11 behind the ball.”
“He will be hurting, I know he said he wants to go out on loan but when I was around you went for a month or two months or three months. A year is a long time.
“My worry is will he lose the love of Arsenal. He could easily look at this and think, why am I the one going out on loan?”
Wilshere, who has suffered badly from injury over the last five years, has been a substitute in each of the Gunners’ opening three Premier League matches of the season and has played just 37 minutes in total.
Eddie Howe’s team are well known for their fluent passing and possession-based football, something that Wilshere has experienced for years at Arsenal since graduating from the club’s academy.
Bournemouth comfortably avoided relegation last season despite being favourites for the drop and are now trying to establish themselves in the top-flight.
They have endured a torrid start to the new Premier League season, picking up just one point from their first three league games.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Trevor Sinclair has compared Jack Wilshere to Wayne Rooney.