6:00 AM UTC
Game Details
6:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Czech Republic
9:00 AM UTC
Game Details
9:00 AM UTC
Game Details
11:45 AM UTC
Game Details
11:45 AM UTC
Game Details
11:45 AM UTC
Game Details

Jack Wilshere will captain, manage Arsenal one day - Arsene Wenger

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger remains convinced that Jack Wilshere has a bright future at Arsenal -- as a player, as a future captain and maybe even as a manager.

Wilshere, an academy product long seen as a future talisman of the club, has gone on loan to Bournemouth this season in search of regular football after his long list of injuries pushed him to the back of Wenger's first-team plans.

But Wenger said that even if Wilshere finds more success away from the Emirates, he doesn't think it will tempt the midfielder to push for a permanent move.

Game Details

"I think he's a real Arsenal man," Wenger told reporters. "I hope if he plays 30 games [this season], he will come back and play here without any doubt."

And when asked if Wilshere could still become the Gunners captain one day, Wenger replied: "certainly."

And he then went even went one step further.

"He will be one day in my seat here," said Wenger, who is approaching his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager. "He has a real football brain. He understands football, it's in his genes. I see him in the future at this club, of course.

"He will spend his life in football, he's a football man. He has an eye on everybody. It's in him. You either have that or you haven't got it, but he's a real football man."

Jack Wilshere's football brain has been praised by Arsene Wenger.

But just where Wilshere will eventually fit into this current Arsenal side as a player remains a question. Part of the reason he was on the substitute's bench for the first three games of the season was that Mesut Ozil occupies the No. 10 playmaker role, while Santi Cazorla is the preferred box-to-box player next to new signing Granit Xhaka.

Wenger has primarily played Wilshere in a deeper central role or on the right flank recently, while former England manager Roy Hodgson used him as the base of a diamond midfield.

Wenger hopes to see Wilshere play as a No. 10 at Bournemouth, but said there is no reason why he and Ozil can't co-exist in the same lineup.

"I don't think [Wilshere] is a defensive player who has to play in front of the defence. Because he can dribble, and he can penetrate," Wenger said. "He has a little burst to get into the final third, so that can be from the right as well, it can be as a box-to-box. He can play with Ozil, of course.

"But let's not forget that Ozil can play wide as well. ... When you compare him to Ozil, [Wilshere] is a guy who goes at you with the ball. Ozil is more a guy who passes to people around him. So they can complement each other very well."

Wenger said he could understand why the prospect of being used mainly as a substitute was "extremely frustrating" for Wilshere, but also insisted that the midfielder has nothing prove at Bournemouth except his fitness. And the Frenchman isn't worried about looking foolish about having let Wilshere go if he was to return to his best form this season.

"If he plays, he will play really well. Because he cannot play bad. But the first to be happy will be me," Wenger said. "I do not try to be right. I think if I give him out and he plays, I am right. And if he plays well, I am more right. Because what you want above all is that a guy of his talent plays the football he can play."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.