Wilshere may leave Arsenal for trophies, claims Wilkins

The former Chelsea assistant manager believes the Gunners are the right club for the talented midfielder, but feels Arsene Wenger will have to make better signings to keep him

By Tom J Doyle

Ray Wilkins believes Arsenal are the right club for Jack Wilshere to develop into a top class footballer, but says the England starlet may end up leaving unless Arsene Wenger makes the right signings to challenge for silverware.

The Gunners went out of both domestic cup competitions, are 24 points behind league leaders Manchester United, and are staring at a Champions League exit after losing the first leg of their last-16 clash to Bayern Munich 3-1 at home.

Another trophyless season would make it eight years in a row for Wenger’s side without silverware, and Wilkins suggests the French boss needs to improve in the transfer market in order to keep the talented 21-year-old.

“[Arsenal] are playing the type of football that [Wilshere] will need to play at international level,” he exclusively told Goal.com. “The only thing that Jack might feel a little aggrieved by is that they’re not winning trophies at the moment.

“If Arsenal were to invest during the summer – which they should – and they should start buying in some more experienced players and better players, then there’s no reason why Jack would want to leave.

“They play wonderful football in a wonderful stadium on a wonderful playing surface and he loves it, but at the back of any professional’s mind is that they want to win. That’s the only thing that will hold Jack Wilshere back at Arsenal because he may decide at some stage, ‘Well I’ve got to go because I want to win a trophy’.”

Asked whether signings are needed to potentially keep Wilshere at the club, Wilkins agreed: “Yes – I think Arsene [Wenger] knows that more than me to be honest. He knows what he requires – he knows Arsenal can’t go eight seasons without winning a trophy.”

Arsenal face Tottenham on Sunday with the battle for Champions League qualification heating up – a win for Spurs would leave the Gunners five points off of the top four, and Wilkins says that margin could be too much to make up.

“I think if Tottenham beat them it’s going to be tough for them, but they’re still in the frame,” he continued. “That little fight for third or fourth is going to go right to the wire and there could be three or four teams involved in that, and it’s going to be exciting to watch.”

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