He’s back! Jack Wilshere returns to Arsenal as a youth coach four years after leaving his boyhood club… with the recently-retired ex-England star to work with the Gunners’ Under-18 side
- Jack Wilshere returns to Arsenal as an academy coach four years after exiting
- The ex-England international announced his retirement from football last week
- Wilshere has finalised a deal to return to Arsenal as he starts his coaching career
- The 30-year-old former midfielder will work with the club’s Under-18 squad
Jack Wilshere has returned to Arsenal as an academy coach – four years after leaving his boyhood club.
The former England international announced his retirement from professional football last week following a career that was heavily impacted by injury.
And Wilshere finalised a deal to return to the Emirates as he starts his coaching career, with the 30-year-old to work with the club’s Under-18s.
Jack Wilshere is returning to Arsenal as an academy coach – four years after leaving the club
‘It’s a huge honour to have this role,’ Wilshere, delighted with his new role, said.
‘It’s no secret that I love this club. I love what we stand for and a big part of my life was spent in this academy, some of the best days of my life.
‘This is a big opportunity for me and I’m ready. I’m hungry and can’t wait to help these young players thrive and be the best they can be on and off the pitch.
‘It’s a special feeling to be part of the Arsenal family. It never left me, and even though I moved on for a few years, my heart was always still at Arsenal. I can’t wait to get started and help these young players thrive with a great team around me.’
The ex-West Ham midfielder is delighted to be back at Arsenal, the club he holds such a strong affinity with after rising through the ranks to become a fans favourite.
The Gunners confirmed Wilshere’s return pm Monday evening with Academy manager Per Mertesacker thrilled to bring his former team-mate back to north London.
‘Everyone knows how passionate Jack is about Arsenal,’ the German said.
‘He understands what we want to achieve here and he really impressed us last year. He knows exactly what it takes to progress through the academy into first-team football.’
During his Arsenal career, Wilshere made 197 appearances but struggled with injury problems
Mehmet Ali, who joined as Arsenal’s Under-23s assistant coach in January, is taking on the role of Under-21s head coach as well as becoming the Gunners’ Professional Development Phase lead in the other coaching move announced on Monday.
But Wilshere stands out as the marquee signing in her first coaching role.
‘With Jack, we’ve got somebody who is really enthused to be a coach,’ Luke Hobbs, Arsenal’s head of academy coaching, said.
‘Jack has so many great qualities and will also bring his depth of knowledge and high-quality experience in terms of what it takes to be an academy player and transition to play in our first-team.’
Speaking last week, Wilshere’s former manager Arsene Wenger spoke of the sadness he held in learning of the ex-midfielder’s retirement.
He said: ‘Well for me it’s a sad moment because Jack is an exceptional football player.
Wilshere pictured with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during his spell training with the club
‘He was brave, he was talented, he wasn’t scared of anybody. Which is why we thought he could start at a very young age. Straight away he showed he had the ability to be a main player.’
He played 288 club games – 197 for Arsenal – and won 34 England caps, but injury denied him the chance to truly fulfil his great potential.
Wilshere became Arsenal’s youngest league debutant in 2008 aged just 16 and was 19 when he produced his most famous performance – a man-of-the-match display against Barcelona in 2011.
But successive injuries, often to his ankles, hampered his efforts to live up to the hype.
He left Arsenal in 2018 and tried to recapture former glories at West Ham, Bournemouth and Aarhus.