Mikel Arteta has described Jack Wilshere as a “big asset” who could one day manage Arsenal, amid interest in the 31-year-old from Colorado Rapids.
ESPN reported last week that Wilshere has interviewed for the MLS job, which has been occupied on an interim basis by Chris Little following Robin Fraser’s sacking in September.
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Sources have told ESPN that Wilshere, Arsenal’s Under 18 coach, is one of as many as five candidates under consideration for the role and speaking on Friday about the situation, Arteta said: “First of all I am really happy that Jack is part of the setup. I think he has done really well, he has brought something that was very necessary in the academy and around the place.
“These things are going to happen when people are doing well — you are going to get attraction and then it will come down to him to make what he believes is the best decision for his career.”
As early as September 2016 when Wilshere was just 24, then Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger suggested he could be a future manager and Arteta repeated that claim after Wilshere made a promising start to his coaching career by guiding Arsenal’s U18 to the FA Youth Cup Final in his first season.
Asked if Wilshere could be Arsenal manager “way down the line” in future, Arteta said: “Way down the line, you don’t know when that is. It can be very soon. He has got the potential to do it.
“Now it is clear in his mind what he wants to do and the reasons why he wants to do it. I think it is a big asset for the club to have him here.”
Arsenal travel to Chelsea on Saturday hoping to welcome back Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard from hamstring injuries while William Saliba is battling to overcome a toe problem.