Jack Wilshere is reportedly set to ‘drop down’ to Arsenal’s u23 squad while he continues to recover from the hairline fracture he’s suffered to his fibula back in April.
According to James Olley from the Evening Standard, Wilshere could feature in Arsenal’s u23’s first match of the season against Derby County u23s on Monday night as he steps up his recovery.
Despite the midfielder, who suffered another hairline fracture while on loan at Bournemouth last season, being a potential replacement for Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil, who are set to be short for the Gunners clash against Leicester on Friday, the club’s medical staff would much rather he makes his return in a youth match.
Wilshere playing for the u23s before the first team makes complete sense and is exactly how Arsene Wenger usually reintroduces players who have been sidelined for long periods of time. He’ll put them into a less intense, low impact game where they can regain fitness and feel out how their injury has healed.
There’s nothing unusual about this and it’s actually far more sensible than bringing Wilshere in as a replacement for Ramsey or Ozil when he’s not played for Arsenal for almost a year.
However, obviously if Wilshere playing for the u23s is indefinite and not just part of his recovery, that’s slightly stranger.
The 25-year-old is rumoured to potentially be leaving the Gunners this summer as he’s got under 12 months left on his current contract with no new deal in sight.
Although Sampdoria, Antalyaspor, Swansea and West Ham have all been linked with a move for the England international, Wilshere is said to be striving to return to first team football at Arsenal and playing for the u23s as part of his recovery is a sensible step to take if he wants that chance.