Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson wants Jack Wilshere to leave the Gunners and join a club where "he's going to play" in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old came up through the ranks of the north London club's youth system before breaking into their first squad in 2008. The midfielder was backed to be have a bright future at the club, but injury setbacks have stopped his progress at Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger allowed Wilshere to go out on loan as he spent the last season at AFC Bournemouth. Since returning to the Emirates, the England international has not made a start in the Premier League this season.

Wilshere has made five starts in the Europa League. Merson, who played for Arsenal for 12 years has urged the midfielder to leave his current employers in the mid-season transfer window.

"I think he has to leave anyway. I think come January he must sit on that bench and look at that midfield and think 'how do I not play in this team?' For me he has to leave and if he leaves he's got to go somewhere he's going to play," Merson told talkSPORT.

Wilshere's current deal at the Emirates will run down after the end of this season. The former Bolton Wanderers and Bournemouth star has not committed his future at Arsenal. Wenger confirmed there have been no talks over contract extension with the midfielder.

"We are in December today, so now it is time to talk to Jack. But it has not happened yet," Wenger explained, as quoted by The Sun.

The Englishman got his name on the scoresheet in Arsenal's 6-0 Europa League win over BATE Borisov. It was his first goal of this campaign. According to the Daily Mail, Wilshere's long-term future at Arsenal still remains unresolved.

He is currently earning £100,000 ($133,905)-a-week at the Emirates. Wilshere's current wages is reportedly one of the major stumbling blocks in handing him a new deal. The midfielder is aware that he has to play regularly in order to boost his chances of making it to Gareth Southgate's squad for the next summer's World Cup in Russia.

The Daily Mail claims that Wilshere could consider his future in January in order to get regular playing time, as he targets to make his way into England squad for the Fifa tournament in 2018.

Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere's current deal at Arsenal will expire in 2018 Getty