Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is considering hanging up his boots at the age of 30 to go into management.
The midfielder who came into the limelight after battling Barcelona’s legendary midfield trio of Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta in a UEFA Champions League match as a teenage midfielder has not had an enjoyable time in football.
Injuries have hampered his development into the player he could have been. He barely completed 30 games in all competitions in a single season, and as a result, eas bounced around clubs who hoped they would be able to get the best out of him. Injuries, however, continued to deal with him and at 30, there seems to be no hope for his career on the pitch anymore.
His last spell was with Danish Superliga club AGF Arhus who did not offer him an extension after signing him for a six-month deal on a free transfer in January. Now back in England, he was a part of Arsenal’s under 17 coaching team for a youth camp match and the experience has made him consider hanging up his boots permanently.
Wilshere, when asked if he would consider playing after his experience with the youths as a coach, said after the event: “It all depends. Because I’ve been through so much in the last 18 months in terms of not having a club, I know what that feels like. If a coaching opportunity came up, I wouldn’t be sad to say ‘right that’s it, I’m done with playing [football]’.
“I’ve got a big desire to coach and become successful at that. You look at the managers who have been successful in the last five or six years, they started young. So I just think ‘why not?’ I have still got that bug [to continue playing], but I have said it so many times that it has to be right.
“My goal is not to go to a club and then go to Real Madrid or go back to Arsenal. I want to go somewhere and enjoy it, and maybe learn a different culture that’ll help me with my coaching as well.”
While there is no news in the media about clubs wanting to sign the midfielder, he is fully fit and has been for a long time, after spending 18 months away from the sport as a free agent to recover from an injury that forced his former club AFC Bournemouth to release him.
Currently working on his coaching badges, his opportunity to enter into coaching might come earlier than he expects as he was offered the opportunity to join the Derby County coaching staff by Wayne Rooney before choosing to go to Denmark.
There is, however, an open door back into football for Wilshere as his contract at Aarhus has an option for extension, but he has not decided on which patch to take. The offers he receives in the coming months will determine his path.