By Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has insisted that Jack Wilshere still has a big future at Arsenal.
The Gunners manager revealed on Friday that the midfielder, who is on a season-long loan at Bournemouth, will “of course” be offered a new contract to replace his current deal.
Wilshere has 18 months remaining on the deal that he signed in December 2012 and his long-term future at his boyhood club has taken on a new dimension after Wenger sanctioned his temporary move to the south coast.
Arsenal take on Bournemouth in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Saturday but Wilshere is unable to play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan.
The London giants are set to start planning in the new year what deal to offer Wilshere beyond his current agreement, which expires in the summer of 2018.
Asked whether Arsenal will offer Wilshere a new deal, Wenger said, as quoted by the Mirror: “Of course.
“Ideally [it will be addressed before next summer]. We have to plan around the new year.
“I am happy that he is developing well. It was a good decision for him to go to get regular football.
He is getting stronger every week and that is exactly what he needed. When a player like Jack is in top form, you miss him.”
Wilshere has made 11 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth this season after shaking off the injury problems that bedevilled him in recent years at Arsenal.
The England international has yet to score or provide an assist for his loan club but has impressed in the No10 role for Eddie Howe’s side.
Wilshere made his Arsenal debut at the age of 16 but has made just 160 appearances for the club due to a succession of injuries.
In other Arsenal news, this is the best possible XI to face Bournemouth on Saturday.