Tuesday, November 27, 2012
ARSENAL OPENS CONTRACT TALK WITH WILSHERE AS WENGER PREPARES HIM FOR CAPTAINSHIP
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is on course for a bumper new contract as manager Arsene Wenger starts preparing him for the captaincy at the Emirate.
It is understood that preliminary discussions regarding a deal extension, which will see the 20-year-old net a significant increase on his £50,000-a-week deal, have taken place.
The England star still has two-and-a-half years left to run on that contract but the Arsenal hierarchy are understandably eager to extend it. They do not want any uncertainty over Wilshere’s future.
Wilshere has enjoyed a morale-boosting month after his injury nightmare.
Having missed the whole of last season with ankle, foot and knee problems, he has made a successful return to club football and an instant return to the international game after his call-up to the England squad for the friendly against Sweden two weeks ago.
The midfielder will be buoyed further by Wenger’s plan to make him Arsenal’s next captain. The manager has privately identified him as the long-term successor to skipper Thomas Vermaelen.
The Belgium defender is under no immediate danger of losing the armband to Wilshere but a plan is in place to promote the talented playmaker within the next two-and-a-half years.
Having come through the club’s academy system, Wilshere has a deep emotional attachment to Arsenal and Wenger likes that. The manager took a similar decision when he made Cesc Fabregas club captain at the age of 21, while Gunners legend Tony Adams’ 14-year stint as skipper started at the same age.
Wenger hopes the lure of the armband will persuade Wilshere, who was given the club’s famed No 10 shirt in the summer, that his long-term future lies at the Emirates Stadium.