Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has supported Jack Wilshere’s decision to retire from football at the age of just 30, calling it the ‘right decision’.
Wilshere made the announcement via social media on Friday, opting to end his career following the expiration of his short-term contract with Danish club AGF.
The player had previously made 14 appearances for Bournemouth during the second half of the 2020/21 season after having his contract at West Ham terminated a few months earlier.
Wilshere burst onto the scene in 2008 at the age of just 16, but injuries came to define his career. He established himself as an important first-team player for Arsenal under Wenger’s watchful eye in the 2010/11 season while still a teenager, making 49 appearances in all competitions.
Yet a pre-season ankle injury ruled him out of the whole of the 2011/12 campaign and his career arguably never recovered. By 2015, he was struggling to command a place at Arsenal and, after being released in 2018, a move to West Ham was not able to resurrect his once promising career.
“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,” Wenger has now said of Wilshere in an interview with Sky Sports.
“He was an exceptional 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 is expected to immediately embark on a coaching career with Arsenal’s Under-18 team.