Arsenal and midfielder Jack Wilshere are set to agree on a three-year, heavily-incentivized contract extension that will see the player maintain his current wage of £100,000 per week if he meets a certain amount of appearances and minutes. It’s understood, by James Olley of the Evening Standard, that the threshold Wilshere must meet to obtain the maximum weekly wage is lower than his previous contract that’s set to expire next month.
If this all holds true, it can only be considered to be a bad deal for Arsenal. While he showed he can stay healthy for the first time in seven years, Wilshere’s form was inconsistent, at best, this past season, which led Gareth Southgate to drop him in favor of Fabian Delph for this summer’s England World Cup squad. There’s an argument to be had that Wilshere is a useful option off the bench, which isn’t too far a reach in terms of what his value is to the club. However, Wilshere’s signing this deal assuming the club will be providing him every opportunity to reach those incentives, given that he’s healthy (something only fools would take for granted in regards to him and his track record). Wilshere won’t be signing this contract if he feels the club is acting in bad faith. In other words, the odds are pretty high that he’s signing this deal assuming he’ll be considered as a starting option in the future, because the club explicitly told him as much.
How all this plays out within the context of a new manager and new signings and departures is entirely unclear at this point. But Wilshere’s on the verge of extending his stay at the only club he knows, and the details of the contract will make more than a few people wondering what’s going through the minds of the people in charge.