In his first press briefing since the concluding of Arsenal’s transfer business, Arsène Wenger stuck to the accepted line that Wilshere had moved in order to play more matches. Wenger confirmed that he and Wilshere spoke about the 24-year old’s playing time, with the midfielder “concerned that he would not get enough competition early enough, because he feels ready to play.” Intriguingly, Wenger admitted that he could not guarantee Wilshere playing time—presumably a starting role, as he had played 37 minutes for the club following a limited pre-season and injury—so they decided to loan him out.
Wenger, while saying that he hoped Wilshere would spend the entirety of the rest of his career at Arsenal, would not confirm that Arsenal were in talks with Wilshere over a new contract, with Wilshere only having a year left on his deal when he returns from loan.
While Wenger stuck to the line of Wilshere needing games, it’s still hard to believe that Wenger would acquiescence to loaning out a first-team player, who had been involved in two of the three games this season, if he genuinely did not harbour doubts about the player. As Tim Stillman argues, Wenger never loaned out Abou Diaby, nor Robin van Persie, and Aaron Ramsey’s loan came at age 19, right after he returned from a broken leg, rather than at age 24. Whatever the manager’s public comments, it still feels as if there is more to this story.