It has long been public knowledge that Jack Wilshere’s contract at Arsenal will come to an end once the current campaign is over.
This being so, the England international is allowed to negotiate with clubs from other leagues from now until then, if he is interested in leaving the Emirates anytime soon.
According to BBC Sport correspondent David Ornstein, the central midfielder has been presented with a contract extension that will see him earn less than what he currently receives but with bigger incentives.
The main question now is, does the 26-year-old deserve a new contract or not?
Ruined by injury
Since moving into Arsenal’s first-team in 2008, Wilshere has gone on to make 182 appearances in all competitions, indicating the extent to which injuries have ruined his career.
As a result, he has gradually fallen down the central midfield pecking order with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny have overtaken him over the past year.
Despite this, the Stevenage-born midfielder has completed more successful dribbles (29) than the rest of the current squad this season and has more assists than individuals such as Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Elneny although he has only completed 14 league matches up till now.
Looking for a new deal
In the course of his time at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has remained patient with Wilshere, waiting to see if he can contribute towards the side on a regular basis before he is offered a new deal.
Although he did not feature much in the early parts of the campaign, he has been one of the most important players for the team over the last six weeks, consistently dictating the game and driving the team forward.
It’s hard to analyse his performances so far this term, since he is more suited to a midfield three rather than a double pivot, an issue that has proven to affect the displays of Ramsey and Xhaka too.
Still, Wenger has persisted with the 3-4-2-1 setup or the 4-2-3-1 system, which has failed to give the side the ideal balance it needs in the middle of the park to pick up the right results week in and out.
Making a case
In the first half of the season, Wilshere's most effective displays were in the Europa League fixtures at home and away to BATE Borisov, where he ran the show and allowed his teammates to perform at a level to ensure that they would win the match.
On top of that, his performances away to Crystal Palace and West Ham as well as his dominant showing at home to Chelsea and Liverpool in the league have evidently proven how he is still a valuable player to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
In spite of a couple of minor knocks, Wilshere has not suffered from a serious injury so far this season. He will be hoping this continues until the end of May as he aims to make it to the World Cup this summer with the England squad.
As one of the longest-serving players currently at the club, Wilshere also performs an important role as a leader to the side, both on and off the pitch.
Given this, Jack Wilshere remains an important asset for the club and manager. Should he not receive a new contract going forward, it would seem as though Arsenal are missing a trick.
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