Per Mertesacker had high praise for Jack Wilshere recently, even describing the 26-year-old as a perfect example of what a positive attitude can do for the rest of the squad.
Jack is currently in the form of his life. Even when Arsenal are playing poorly, the midfielder does everything he can to positively influence the team. He pushes play forward and, the longer he stays fit, the stronger he’s grows.
The England international’s efforts to return to his best haven’t gone unnoticed by Mertesacker.
“His recent performances deserve praise,” said the 33-year-old.
“Jack is leading at the moment and that’s what we want from him. He’s shown what he is capable of. He has made some good decisions, both for himself and health-wise, to evolve and get better as a person and also as a player.
“It’s all coming together now and it’s clear he’s been challenging himself every day.
“He’s a positive influence on the whole team and that’s what I require from everyone in this squad.
“Jack is a perfect example of that. He’s had his setbacks, he’s had his difficult times, but he’s battle back from them. Nothing was given to him – he’s worked hard for it and reaping the rewards.”
It’s interesting to hear Mertesacker talk about Jack being a leader since the German is currently captain. The centre-back retires at the end of the season and Jack’s always said he wants to be skipper one day, which is presumably why he wanted the #10 shirt in the first place.
With just six months on his current Arsenal contract, Jack’s future at the club is uncertain, despite Arsene Wenger insisting he wants the midfielder to stay.
After hearing rumours about a negative influence like Alexis Sanchez in the dressing room, it’s good to see there are some players trying to turn this around. This might even be why Mertesacker’s talking about it.
Hopefully, Jack continues his run of good form against Swansea on Tuesday night.