Jack Wilshere still has a future at Arsenal and will once again become a mainstay for the north London club should he enjoy a full season at Bournemouth, according to former midfielder Freddie Ljungberg. The England international will spend the 2016-17 campaign on loan at the Vitality Stadium after completing his move to the south coast club on deadline day in the summer transfer window.
Wilshere will work under Eddie Howe's guidance in an attempt to force his way back into the reckoning both with the Gunners, for whom he has started for this term, and England after Sam Allardyce omitted him from his squad for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. The 24-year-old has endured consecutive campaigns beset by injury but a settled campaign could spark a turnaround in his career.
But any fears Wilshere's exit could trigger the beginning of the end of his Arsenal career – several players have departed the club on short-term deals never to return – have been dismissed by Ljungberg. The retired Swede predicts a successful future for the player beyond this season if he can recapture his best form and fitness.
"Everyone knows Jack is an amazing talent," Ljungberg told The Daily Mail. "He's an amazing player. I love him. But I think if he can play 38 games for Bournemouth then he will be back here playing and starting again. I just think he's had bad luck. He plays well, then after six or seven games, you think: 'Oh he's back'. Then he gets injured again. That's a vicious cycle. I think if he can do that for 38 games, next season he will be back [at Arsenal] and he will be starting again."
Ljungberg's former teammate Robert Pires, who also played in The Invincibles Arsenal team which went the whole of the 2003-04 season unbeaten, believes the move can only benefit Wilshere, who has made one Premier League start since the 2014-15 campaign. Paul Merson says Bournemouth are getting a £30m ($40m) player in the form of Wilshere, and Pires is confident the move can work.
"Maybe for him it's a good choice because he needs to play more regularly," he said, according to ESPN. "They have a lot of players at Arsenal, especially in midfield. So maybe it's a good transition for him, because he's only on loan. So next season he will come back for Arsenal. But he needs to play."