Xhaka am Knie operiert und vor langer Zwangspause

Der FC Arsenal und die Schweizer Nationalmannschaft müssen in den kommenden Wochen auf Granit Xhaka verzichten.

Vorzeitiges Ende im Nord-London-Derby: Granit Xhaka.

Vorzeitiges Ende im Nord-London-Derby: Granit Xhaka.

Getty Images

Der ehemalige Bundesligaspieler hat sich offenbar eine Knieverletzung zugezogen und könnte damit vor einer längeren Zwangspause stehen. Der Kapitän der Schweizer Nationalmannschaft teilte am Dienstag in seiner Instagram-Story ein Foto, auf dem er mit einem dick bandagierten und geschienten Knie auf der Couch liegt. Nach Informationen der “Blick” soll sich der Profi des FC Arsenal einen Innenbandriss im rechten Knie zugezogen haben und sechs bis acht Wochen ausfallen. Weitere Untersuchungen stünden an. Vom Verein gab es noch keine Informationen.

Xhaka war am Sonntag im Duell der Erzrivalen mit Tottenham Hotspur (3:1) nach einem Zweikampf mit Lucas Moura verletzt ausgewechselt worden. Sollte sich die Verletzung bestätigen, fehlt der 29-Jährige nicht nur den Gunners, sondern auch den Eidgenossen in der entscheidenden Phase der WM-Qualifikation mit den letzten vier Spielen im Oktober und November. Xhaka hatte bereits die letzten Spiele wegen einer Corona-Infektion verpasst.

Henry on Ek’s Arsenal takeover prospects and praise for Saka and Smith Rowe

Thierry Henry declared “we are here to stay” after talking up the potential of Spotify owner Daniel Ek one day buying Arsenal.

Ek made headlines earlier this year amid the Super League chaos when attempting a takeover at Arsenal, confirming in May he saw a bid rejected after contacting owner Stan Kroenke’s family to make an offer.

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A DAY AGO

The Swede has been backed by a number of Arsenal legends, including Henry, who previously spoke about Ek’s interest and sat next to him during Sunday’s north London derby win over Tottenham.

Henry said on Monday Night Football: “To be able to get there, you need to have someone to respond on the other side. It didn’t happen yet.

“We, he, is here to stay, so let’s see what’s going to happen – but obviously we enjoyed the win yesterday.”

Asked if there is dialogue at the moment, Henry replied: “Not at the moment. It’s going to be long, how long I don’t actually know, but we are here to stay.”

Henry was seen enjoying the derby win against Spurs in a retro Arsenal kit from the stands, and the club’s record goalscorer picked out Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka for their impressive performances.

On the best bit about Sunday’s game, Henry said: “Bukayo Saka and Smith Rowe. The team played really well, especially in the first half. Those two having a goal and an assist.

“Arsenal played that game like a derby as they should. I don’t think Tottenham did, especially in the first half – but what a day.

‘I will not judge my players infront of you’ – Nuno after 3-1 loss to Arsenal

“You want to see that more often than that… But for me the two kids, especially for the academy and what it represents, it’s contagious.

“We need that at Arsenal. We need this type of performance, and that is why I think Mikel [Arteta] went with the guys that have that DNA in them, because they know what it is to win and not suffer against Tottenham.”

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YESTERDAY AT 19:25

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24/09/2021 AT 15:17

Opinion: The balance of power has shifted again in north London

It is an unwritten rule of the Premier League era that north London’s two clubs can never be successful at the same time. When Arsenal won titles and admirers under Arsene Wenger, Tottenham Hotspur rattled through countless managers as they struggled for an identity. When Mauricio Pochettino gave them one and led Spurs to their first ever Champions League, it was Arsenal’s turn to suffer.

On the basis of Sunday’s derby clash at the Emirates Stadium, north London’s footballing power balance has shifted again. Arsenal are now the ones looking upwards while Spurs, toiling under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, are wondering how much further they might slip.

This was a match that confirmed a lot of what we thought we knew about these two teams. Arsenal had shown signs of progress in back-to-back wins over Norwich City and Burnley and underlined that progress with a complete performance. Their first half display was especially accomplished.

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‘I’m pretty worried’ – Arteta admits concern over Xhaka injury

AN HOUR AGO

On the opposite side, the growing sense of malaise around Tottenham was compounded as Nuno’s team failed to impose themselves on their rivals. The visitors claimed the greater share of possession (53%), but failed to make it count for anything beyond a Heung-Min Son consolation goal in the second half.

Of course, it’s not so long ago that Tottenham, who won their first three Premier League fixtures of the season, sat at the top of the table with Arsenal, who lost their first three, at the bottom. Football is fickle. Landscapes can change in the space of just a few games, but what unfolded on Sunday felt like a true reflection of where the two teams are right now.

Arsenal fans have been told to trust the process over the last two years and it’s only now that this process is producing genuine results. With the majority of his squad fit and the transfer window now closed, Arteta has been able to build a balanced team that can control games in and out of possession.

Spurs, though, are struggling badly for any sort of incision. Their lack of creativity is compromising everything they do at the moment, with not one of their three starting midfielders against Arsenal – Dele Alli, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele – able to register a single key pass. Their possession is without any purpose.

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given Nuno’s background as a conservative coach at Wolves. While Tottenham initially wanted their new manager to wash away the remnants of Jose Mourinho’s ill-fated tenure, they have ended up with a successor who shares many of the same ideas. Nuno just doesn’t have the winning track record to justify them.

Indeed, Spurs’ appointment of Nuno, a coach with conflicting principles to that of the club he now leads, is starting to look like a mistake. The same might be said of the decision to stop Harry Kane from leaving for Manchester City, such is the languid, uninterested body language of the 28-year-old.

One wonders if Tottenham will come to regret not cashing in on their prize asset when his market value was highest, when City would have considered stumping up over £120m for their top target. It was understandable that Spurs desperately wanted to keep hold of their top scorer and best player, but the Kane they have now is a shadow of the one they had before.

It might only be after Kane is gone that Tottenham can truly rebuild, with the funds reinvested in areas of the squad that badly need it. While Arteta has found balance at Arsenal through the signings of Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White, Spurs have so far been unable to integrate their summer signings – Cristian Romero, Bryan Gil and Emerson Royal started the match against Arsenal on the bench.

If Nuno is to take any encouragement from Sunday’s match, it might strangely be found in Arsenal’s recent turnaround. As already referenced, Tottenham started this month top of the Premier League with their north London rivals bottom. However, Sunday’s derby outcome was the result of a more entrenched trend that has two clubs heading in very different directions.

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'I’m pretty worried' – Arteta admits concern over Xhaka injury

Arsenal’s north London derby win over Tottenham appears to have come at a cost, with manager Mikel Arteta worried about an injury to Granit Xhaka.

The Swiss midfielder has swings in form, but was excellent against Tottenham on Sunday.

However, he left the field with what appeared to be a knee injury and Arteta delivered a downbeat assessment.

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“I’m pretty worried because it doesn’t look very positive at the moment,” Arteta said.

After a poor start to the campaign, Arsenal are perfect in September – with three wins in the league and one in the Carabao Cup.

Arteta is not getting carried away by their upturn in fortunes.

“That’s the beauty of this game and the danger of this game as well,” the Spaniard said.

It changes so quickly at both ends. You always have to be alert and seek improvements which I think we can still do.

“It was one of the nicest feelings that I had certainly in this stadium. It was a big occasion for us, a big game, to win it the way we did and to feel that connection. It made it really special.”

Arsenal return to action at Brighton on Saturday.

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23/09/2021 AT 09:55

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18/09/2021 AT 20:29

'I can't wait to have that experience' – Arteta, Nuno preview 'special' NLD

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he cannot wait to manage a north London derby in front of the home fans for the first time.

The Gunners have won their last three games in all competitions and have lost just one of their last 28 home league games to Tottenham.

The Spaniard has spoken of his excitement to lead the Arsenal team out in front of supporters at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

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“To be fair, I can’t wait to have that experience,” he told reporters ahead of the highly-anticipated match on Sunday afternoon.

“Even right now, after such a long time without them, I have experienced some London derbies but without supporters and I am saying supporters because I think that is the word to describe the people who are behind our football club.

“What they have done in the last few weeks has been pretty special, they only want what is best for the club and it is very different to just being a fan.”

Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Burnley in the Premier League.

Image credit: Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for the north London derby by Arteta in March after he turned up late to the game last season, but the former Arsenal midfielder says the pair have moved on from the “incident”.

“Well, that was just an incident that I had to make a decision over and I did on the day,” he said.

“We as a team have some ways of working together, and this (Aubameyang’s actions) wasn’t how we do that, so we made a decision.

“I think now he’s been in really good form. I think the way he played at Burnley, even if he didn’t score a goal, was extraordinary, the way he played for the team. So we expect him to do the same (on Sunday).”

NUNO: A SPECIAL GAME

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo says his first north London derby cannot be considered “another game” with Spurs still seeking their first Premier League win of the season.

“It’s not another game. It’s a special game,” Nuno said.

“A special game for us, a special game for our fans. It’s going to be a tough match but no doubt, it’s a different game.

“I had many, many situations in derbies but this is a new one, a tough one and a good one, a special one for our fans. If it’s special for our fans, it’s very special for us.

“We expect a tough match and for us, we have to compete, we have to play and compete well. Give everything that we can and play good.

“Playing good is finding the right balance in our game. Improvements to be made but a lot of positives that we take from the previous games, so let’s keep on going.”

Spurs will have Lucas Moura back after he missed the last two games with a knock, but Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon remain out.

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18/09/2021 AT 20:29

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'Weight off my chest' – Wilshere says speaking about mental health boosted confidence in club search

Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has been buoyed by the reaction to him discussing his mental health as he continues to look for a new club.

Wilshere, who remains a free agent having left Bournemouth at the end of last season, opened up about depressive thoughts he has experienced during an interview with The Athletic last month.

As a high-profile footballer, he admitted to feeling apprehensive about doing so but says the vast majority of responses have been positive, which has in turn helped him.

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18/09/2021 AT 20:29

“I think the biggest thing that’s helped me is speaking out,” Wilshere, speaking on the Original Penguin X Campaign Against Living Miserably Under The Surface podcast, said.

“The response and the people that have reached out, it gives you confidence, and it helps massively and you know as men and as footballers, we probably find it difficult to speak out and I always had that in my head.

“I didn’t think people want to hear someone who is a footballer who gets paid well moaning about things when it could be a dad out there who has to work 15 hours a day just to put food on the table.

“Someone reached out to me and said, you know, these thoughts, I don’t want to say depression because I wouldn’t say I’m depressed, but these depressive thoughts — they don’t care if you’ve got money or you’ve got nothing, everyone has them and it’s about how you process them and deal with them.

“Just because the perception of people on social media, or people outside of the game — it’s not everyone, because a lot of people, I’d say 95 per cent of the public and fans have been supportive of me. But, you know, you always get some like ‘oh what have you got moan about, you’ve got a nice house, you’ve got nice cars’, so I didn’t want to go down that road but it did help massively.

“It was difficult to do. I also thought it might come across a little bit weak but it actually didn’t, it was the opposite. I had the opposite response from people saying how brave you are, and just being really supportive.”

Wilshere spent part of the summer training with Como but Serie B rules on non-EU players meant they were unable to offer the midfielder a permanent contract.

He has since been offered the chance to train at Arsenal by his former Gunners team-mate, Mikel Arteta, although the possibility of a full-time deal at the Emirates is remote.

Opening up about his mental health has, though, given the 29-year-old a lift as he searches for a new club.

“It was a weight off my chest,” Wilshere said. “It just helped me when people were reaching out to me and it helped me with a lot of things, but as well it just motivated me a little bit more to keep going and keep training and just wait for the right opportunity to come.

“It will come, a lot of people were saying that, people in the game who you respect and tell you that; it gives you confidence.”

Wilshere is adamant that the injury problems that impacted on his time at Arsenal, and later West Ham, are behind him.

However, he believes he suffers from the notion that he is “an injury waiting to happen”.

“It’s a perception and I’ve had this opinion from a few clubs; ‘great player, but an injury waiting to happen’,” he said.

“I haven’t been injured since before lockdown, and it was not a serious injury, I’ve trained every day. When I was at Bournemouth I was available for every single game, so I feel like it’s a lazy answer because I can. Give me a chance, let me prove myself to you then, show you that I’m fit.

“It’s frustrating and it sort of breaks your spirit as well because you know, especially when you’re training on your own and every day… there’s not much you can do on your own, you have to run and it’s hard and it’s boring, and then to get that answer it’s like, ‘well, why am I doing this? Why am I breaking myself every day?’, waiting for that opportunity to come, when I’m just getting answers like that.”

Wilshere added: “I just want to play football. Fans are back in stadiums, I watch the Premier League a lot, I watch a lot of football and I just want to be a part of that. I want to feel that buzz again going on to the pitch and playing football.”

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Opinion: Arteta's building blocks finally clear in Arsenal win over Burnley

In the grand opus of Arsenal’s history as a club, a slightly dull 1-0 win over Burnley is unlikely to feature much. And yet it could, in time, be reflected upon as one of the Gunners’ most significant results of recent times. That will certainly be the case if Mikel Arteta proves to be a success as Arsenal manager.

Arteta has, with some justification, faced a lot of criticism over the early part of the season. As the Spaniard approaches the two-year anniversary of his appointment at the Emirates Stadium, there has been little indication of his masterplan, if he has one. At a time when the best teams play with a clear philosophy, Arsenal still don’t have one.

But through tough times, Arteta has argued that he, and his team, could only be fairly judged when the transfer window closed and when injuries eased. The 39-year-old therefore surely felt some degree of vindication at Turf Moor where the Gunners, with the majority of their squad available, made it back-to-back wins.

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It wasn’t that Arsenal were necessarily emphatic in victory. In fact, there were stages of the match against Burnley at which they looked to be going through the motions. Had the hosts had a sharper cutting edge, they might well have snatched a point, a result which would have changed the landscape for Arteta.

For the first time this season, though, there were signs all over the pitch of growing relationships and of what Arteta envisages for Arsenal. The final scoreline, nor the performance as a whole, did justice to the potential significance of this for the north London club.

In defence, Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White partnered each other for the first time. While the latter got away with a sloppy backpass that would have resulted in an opposition penalty had VAR not intervened, the former was a physical presence who handled everything thrown at him by Burnley.

Indeed, Gabriel made the most tackles (three), interceptions (eight) and clearances (two) of anyone on the pitch. In previous seasons, Arsenal would have crumbled against such a physical team, but their Brazilian centre back thrived in the circumstances. The balance, with ball-playing White alongside Gabriel, was also right with Aaron Ramsdale solid again.

Takehiro Tomiyasu was another who stood out at Turf Moor. The Japanese international put in a tireless shift, winning 100% of his duels. He also made five successful recoveries of the ball and had the most touches of any Arsenal player. Tomiyasu, whose intensity is relentless, already looks to have absorbed many of Arteta’s ideas.

Most significant of all, though, was the performance of Thomas Partey who started his first Premier League match of the season. The Ghanaian ties everything together in midfield for Arsenal. Nobody else can do what he does in the centre of the pitch. With Partey anchoring the midfield, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe had the freedom to dictate the match further forward.

“He’s the anchor. He’s the one who reads what is happening and makes the rest better,” Arteta said about Partey after full time.

How he manages the transition, his pressing, he has a charisma. That’s his biggest job to get the right balance in the team, the right fluidity in the attack. How he manages the transition is top, he has a charisma.

With Nicolas Pepe on the left wing and Bukayo Saka on the right, Arsenal played with balance. Having two natural wingers out wide stretched the pitch and opened up space for Odegaard and Smith Rowe to provide Arsenal with a genuine creative front, something they have frequently lacked under Arteta.

Detractors will point out that Arsenal’s winning goal only came through a moment of individual brilliance from a set piece, but the building blocks for something even better finally appear to be in place. Not so long ago, Arteta risked meeting his end as Arsenal boss. Now, he might be at the start of something.

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Are Arsenal learning from mistakes? Their game with Burnley will reveal all…

For Arsenal fans, it has been a week of relief. The Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Norwich last Saturday saw Mikel Arteta’s side secure their first Premier League points of the season, and it also meant that the north London club were no longer staring down the barrel at the foot of the table.

The butterflies may now be settling in once again, however, as the Gunners make the trip up to Lancashire to face off against a Burnley side that could be categorised a ‘bogey’ team of sorts in recent years for Arsenal.

The stats do not make for good reading. Arsenal have not won against the Clarets in their last three meetings – all of which have been whilst Arteta has been manager. Two draws, and one defeat, with just the one goal scored

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To add some more context, when Burnley defeated Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates in December 2020, Sean Dyche’s side won fifteen more aerial duels than their opponents. It is no surprise that Arteta believes Turf Moor is “one of the toughest places to go in the Premier League.”

“Obviously it is going to be a completely different game than when we played against Norwich because of their qualities and the game they propose,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.

So how can Arsenal learn from previous mistakes against a side that likes to be direct, win aerial duels, and sit behind the ball in their 4-4-2 shape? One thing for certain is it will have to be a better performance from Arsenal than we saw against Brentford.

That day, Arteta’s side were extremely below par defensively in the air. Thomas Frank identified it as one way to gain a stronghold in the game beforehand, and his plan worked.

Brentford’s second goal highlighted it – the ball was delivered into the box via a long throw from Mads Sorensen, which was allowed to bounce freely over everyone before midfielder Christian Norgaard put away an easy free header at the back post.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 13: Ben White of Arsenal challenges Ivan Toney of Brentford during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arse

Image credit: Eurosport

Question marks about £50 million man Ben White’s aerial ability started to arise, and now it is up to Arteta to decide whether he wants to put him up against Chris Wood, who can be a handful.

If White is not selected, Takehiro Tomiyasu could be the key player that Arsenal are looking for here, especially considering his versatility.

The 22-year-old had a great debut against Norwich, winning the most aerial duels on the pitch, with seven. That is impressive, considering he was deployed as an inverted full-back for the majority of his time on the pitch, and has not had much time to adapt to how his new side play.

To counter Burnley’s aerial prowess, selecting the Japan international to play on the right side of central defence – where he is also capable of filling in – could be a viable option.

Another sticking point is the choice of formation Arteta could go with. Against Norwich, the Arsenal manager made a tactical tweak just after the hour, shifting from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 shape. It worked – the Gunners broke the deadlock four minutes later through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The switch saw the Gunners look more accomplished in the final third, and it could be the way to break down a Burnley side who often opt for a low-block out of possession. Regardless of the tactical choices that Arteta decides to make, the most important point here is that Arsenal have to show in this game that they are progressing on the pitch.

If not, the exit door could be looming for Arteta.

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Are Arsenal learning from mistakes? Their game with Burnley will reveal all…

For Arsenal fans, it has been a week of relief. The Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Norwich last Saturday saw Mikel Arteta’s side secure their first Premier League points of the season, and it also meant that the north London club were no longer staring down the barrel at the foot of the table.

The butterflies may now be settling in once again, however, as the Gunners make the trip up to Lancashire to face off against a Burnley side that could be categorised a ‘bogey’ team of sorts in recent years for Arsenal.

The stats do not make for good reading. Arsenal have not won against the Clarets in their last three meetings – all of which have been whilst Arteta has been manager. Two draws, and one defeat, with just the one goal scored

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A DAY AGO

To add some more context, when Burnley defeated Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates in December 2020, Sean Dyche’s side won fifteen more aerial duels than their opponents. It is no surprise that Arteta believes Turf Moor is “one of the toughest places to go in the Premier League.”

“Obviously it is going to be a completely different game than when we played against Norwich because of their qualities and the game they propose,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.

So how can Arsenal learn from previous mistakes against a side that likes to be direct, win aerial duels, and sit behind the ball in their 4-4-2 shape? One thing for certain is it will have to be a better performance from Arsenal than we saw against Brentford.

That day, Arteta’s side were extremely below par defensively in the air. Thomas Frank identified it as one way to gain a stronghold in the game beforehand, and his plan worked.

Brentford’s second goal highlighted it – the ball was delivered into the box via a long throw from Mads Sorensen, which was allowed to bounce freely over everyone before midfielder Christian Norgaard put away an easy free header at the back post.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 13: Ben White of Arsenal challenges Ivan Toney of Brentford during the Premier League match between Brentford and Arsenal at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arse

Image credit: Eurosport

Question marks about £50 million man Ben White’s aerial ability started to arise, and now it is up to Arteta to decide whether he wants to put him up against Chris Wood, who can be a handful.

If White is not selected, Takehiro Tomiyasu could be the key player that Arsenal are looking for here, especially considering his versatility.

The 22-year-old had a great debut against Norwich, winning the most aerial duels on the pitch, with seven. That is impressive, considering he was deployed as an inverted full-back for the majority of his time on the pitch, and has not had much time to adapt to how his new side play.

To counter Burnley’s aerial prowess, selecting the Japan international to play on the right side of central defence – where he is also capable of filling in – could be a viable option.

Another sticking point is the choice of formation Arteta could go with. Against Norwich, the Arsenal manager made a tactical tweak just after the hour, shifting from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 shape. It worked – the Gunners broke the deadlock four minutes later through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The switch saw the Gunners look more accomplished in the final third, and it could be the way to break down a Burnley side who often opt for a low-block out of possession. Regardless of the tactical choices that Arteta decides to make, the most important point here is that Arsenal have to show in this game that they are progressing on the pitch.

If not, the exit door could be looming for Arteta.

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'We are in conversations' – Arteta confirms Arsenal in talks with Wilshere

Mikel Arteta has revealed Arsenal are ready to offer a lifeline to Jack Wilshere, but the Gunners boss stopped short of saying he could play for the club again.

Wilshere is a free agent after failing to secure a contract with a club following his departure from Bournemouth at the end of last season.

The former England international revealed recently he had been training alone in a bid to keep himself in shape in case a club came calling.

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It would appear he could be handed the chance to work with his former club, as Arteta has confirmed talks are ongoing with a player who holds the record for being the youngest to make his debut for the Gunners in the Premier League.

“We are in conversations with Jack to understand what he needs, what he’s looking for,” Arteta told the club’s official website. “He’s a person and player who has a huge admiration from everybody – not just the players or fans, but all the staff around here. We are willing to help him as much as we possibly can. He knows that and this is the situation.

“I wouldn’t take it that far [that he could play for us again]. What I’m saying is that we’re in conversations with him to understand what he needs, how we can help him and that’s it.”

Wilshere made his debut for Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2008, and was tipped for greatness.

The midfielder has 34 England caps to his name, but injuries held him back and he departed north London in 2018.

Attempts to revive his career at West Ham and Bournemouth failed to bear fruit, but he said recently that he is looking to kick-start his career at the age of 29.

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