Paul Merson sends ‘special’ message to Arsenal fans about 25-year-old midfielder

The Arsenal legend believes Jack Wilshere will have to leave the Gunners unless he can break into their Premier League team by January

Arsenal legend Paul Merson Photo: Sky Sports

Paul Merson has hailed Jack Wilshere as a “special player” but has admitted the midfielder’s future could lie away from Arsenal.

The England international is facing an uncertain future at the north London club after entering the final 12 months of his Arsenal contract.

The Gunners haven’t signalled that a contract extension will be forthcoming so far, despite Wilshere’s interest in re-signing a new deal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger handed the 25-year-old his first appearance in over 12 months last week as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 win against Bundesliga outfit Cologne.

Wilshere impressed with his second-half cameo against the German club but the midfielder didn’t do enough to secure his place in the match day squad for the trip to Chelsea.

However, Wenger handed the England midfielder his first start of the season in Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup third round on Wednesday night.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson lavished praise on Wilshere but conceded the Arsenal number 10 would need to secure a January move if he can’t break into Wenger’s Premier League side in the coming months.

“I still think he’s special. He’s got class, he’s got vision. I just think that if he hasn’t played [in the Premier League] by January he has to leave Arsenal,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“It would be a shame but this kid needs to play football. He’s too good to be sitting on the bench.”

The Gunners will host West Brom in their next Premier League fixture at The Hawthorns on Monday night.

Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a top-four finish.

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