Various reports this morning say that Arsenal will begin talks with Jack Wilshere over a new contract, but that the midfielder is seeking assurances over playing time as part any agreement.
The 25 year old is currently heading towards the final 12 months of his current deal, and the fact that talks are planned – while none have yet taken place with the likes of Kieran Gibbs or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – shows some intent on the part of the club to keep him.
However, Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph says that Wilshere is concerned about how much time on the pitch he’ll get and will make that a fundamental part of the discussion.
Despite overcoming fitness issues and remaining available for Bournemouth for almost all of his loan spell, the England international has fallen out of favour somewhat with Eddie Howe.
He hasn’t started any of their last four league games, which has coincided with The Cherries longest unbeaten run of the season as they’ve clocked up two wins and two draws to move themselves away from the relegation zone.
The question is whether a player who can’t get into the Bournemouth team can expect to be picked regularly for Arsenal, especially when he seemed reluctant to fight for his place earlier this season.
Nevertheless, Howe insisted that despite this spell on the bench, the loan move has been a positive one overall.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him, as a player and as a person. If you look at Jack’s season overall, there’s massive, massive positives.
“He’s played so many games, a lot of 90 minutes: this is just a little spell where he’s been out of the team but he’s still coming on to great effect. Overall he’s stayed fit: it has to be a huge positive for him, this season.”