Jack Wilshere thinks his season-long loan move to Bournemouth is testament to his character. The injury-plagued England international joined the Cherries on the last day of the summer transfer window after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted the Gunners could no longer offer him guaranteed first-team football.
Wilshere's international teammate Joe Hart also made a loan switch during the window, joining Italian side Torino from Manchester City. And the 24-year-old star has urged fans and pundits to look at their moves in a positive light.
"People were always going to look negatively at the loans Joe and I did because that's the way it was. I wasn't going to play at Arsenal, he wasn't going to play for City, but it says a lot about our characters," the on-loan Arsenal midfielder told the Evening Standard, having recently been recalled to the England squad.
"I could have sat at Arsenal on the bench, coming on now and then, but I wouldn't have been involved in the England squad. I could have had a few days off during the international break. But we both felt differently to that. We wanted to go elsewhere and show we still had something to offer at the highest level and in this England team."
Wilshere has suffered an injury-hit few years and has admitted he is relieved to be playing regular first-team football at Bournemouth. He did, however, suggest that he sees his long-term future at Arsenal, the club where he progressed through the youth ranks.
"There are different reasons for going on loan," Wilshere reflected. "For Joe it was quite simple, he wasn't playing. He's the type of character that wants to play. He could have easily stayed at Manchester City and picked up his wages. He is not like that, he wants to be playing and improve.
"It was different for me, I wanted to prove my fitness to everyone. I hadn't played football regularly in a long while and I missed that feeling of going out on the pitch and playing in the Premier League."