Don’t you dare, Arsene.
Jack Wilshere’s resurgence has been the single bright spark in an otherwise typically Arsenal season.
If Arsene Wenger allowed the midfielder’s contract to expire in the summer, fans would surely never forgive him.
With his Gunners career effectively finished, the desire Wilshere showed to fight himself back into Arsene Wenger’s thinking cannot be understated.
Now 26, Wilshere has revealed that Wenger informed him at the start of the season that his future would likely be away from the North London club.
Wilshere recalls the exact moment the Frenchman made it clear he was no longer in his plans, claiming he was told: “‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contact.
“’So if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go.’
“I was on the bike in the gym, so I didn’t leave the room. It was a strange one, because maybe part of me knew all this already – all I needed was some clarity on where I stood in the football club.
“He said I could fight for my position.
“And I always had confidence I could get back into the midfield if I got my fitness back and kept it – and I did that.
“I proved that I could get into that team.”
It’s that self confidence Wilshere speaks of that sets him apart from the others in the Arsenal squad.
Until Wilshere’s return to the first-team picture, Arsenal had been a side visibly lacking in self-belief and desire this season.
He never gave up on Arsenal, and the fans never gave up on him.
It has been an unbreakable bond ever since his infamous man of the match performance against Barcelona in 2011.
Aged just 19, Wilshere orchestrated the Gunners’ win, bossing the midfield against Barca legends Xavi and Iniesta.
With 17 league appearances to his name this season, Wilshere has shown no signs of the previous injury troubles which hampered him for years.
He is now once again a viable option at Wenger’s disposal and fans are left bemused when his name is absent from a teamsheet.
It’s not only his actions on the pitch which leave Gunners’ fans drooling more than the prospect of ArsenalFanTV after a defeat to Brighton, Wilshere’s love for the club spills over off the pitch.
In November, Wilshere was the only current Arsenal player to attend the premiere of ’89’, a film celebrating Arsenal’s dramatic title win at Anfield.
Not even Wenger bothered turning up.
It’s these little acts which help to keep Wilshere in such high regard amongst fans.
He holds a genuine interest in Arsenal’s history, a club in his blood since he joined at the age of nine.
The prospect of Wilshere featuring elsewhere, God forbid at another Premier League club, sends shivers down the spines of Arsenal fans.
In what will inevitably be a turbulent transition period once (or if) Wenger leaves the club, Wilshere could be the figure to keep the fans on-board.
He would relish the responsibility to push Arsenal on in their next phase under a new manager.
Wenger’s legacy has been debated for years.
Many would rejoice at his resignation, whereas others would mourn the departure of the man who built the modern day Arsenal from the ground up.
But if he allows Wilshere to leave, then the foundations he laid down would be reduced to rubble.
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