‘He was brave, he was talented, he wasn’t scared of anybody’: Arsene Wenger heaps praise on Jack Wilshere following his retirement… but says the ex-Arsenal star has ‘made the right decision’ in hanging up his boots at age of 30
- Arsene Wenger has saluted former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere as he retires
- The 30-year-old called time on his career after his AGF contract wasn’t renewed
- The midfielder also played for Bolton, West Ham and Bournemouth in his career
- Wenger believes it was the right call for the former England star to call it a day
Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on Jack Wilshere, after the former Arsenal midfielder announced his retirement from football on Friday.
30-year-old Wilshere called time on his career after Danish Supaliga side AGF decided not to renew his contract for the new season earlier this week.
Wilshere made his debut for Arsenal in 2008, aged 16 and would go on to play 197 games and win two FA Cups with the Gunners in a decade-long stint with the club.
Arsene Wenger was Wilshere’s manager during his spell with Arsenal
The man who gave Wilshere his debut has paid tribute to the midfielder, with Arsene Wenger praising a player who came through at such a young age and the attributes he brought to his Arsenal team.
‘Well for me it’s a sad moment because Jack is an exceptional football player. The former Gunners manager told Sky Sports.
‘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.’
A succession of injuries in the latter stages of Wilshere’s career saw his stint in north London came to an end, and eventually he moved on to West Ham in 2018 before a spell with Bournemouth.
Wilshere (far right) celebrates with his Arsenal team-mates after winning the FA Cup in 2015
Wilshere won 34 caps for England and was part of Roy Hodgson’s 2014 World Cup squad
He later struggled to find a club and last season spent time with Danish club AGF, but has called time on his career, fourteen years after making his professional debut.
Wenger believes with the injuries and Wilshere’s style of player it was probably the best decision to bring the curtain down on his playing days.
‘He was an exception talent, but didn’t play enough games because of injury and in the end that is why he’s had to stop. It’s very difficult for a star like he was when you cannot play at your best anymore. That’s difficult to swallow. Which is why I think he’s taken the right decision.’
Wilshere spent some time with Danish side AGF Aarhus before his decision to retire
During his career Wilshere won 34 England caps, scoring two goals, and was part of Roy Hodgson’s 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil. Although Jack only managed a small part in England’s opener before starting in their final group game against Costa Rica, when Hodgson’s men were already eliminated.
On announcing his retirement today, Wilshere said ‘From being the little boy kicking a ball around in the garden to captaining my beloved Arsenal and playing for my country at a World Cup. I have lived my dream.’
However, he admitted that in recent years his career had been slipping away and this was the right time, and is excited about what the future in the game holds.