Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has warned Jack Wilshere to choose his friends carefully after he was reportedly involved in an alleged assault this week.
Wilshere was seen speaking to police after an altercation in central London in the early hours of Sunday morning, as reported by The Mirror.
While the England international has since informed the club that he wasn’t involved, it is another mark against the 24-year-old who has yet to feature this season.
Having suffered an injury in pre-season, Wilshere faces a battle to regain full fitness and feature in Arsene Wenger’s plans in the closing stages of the campaign, while he will still harbour hopes of securing a place in Roy Hodgson’s final squad for Euro 2016 this summer too.
However, his off-the-field controversies will not help his bid to earn the trust of either manager, and Wright has shared his opinion on Wilshere needing to pick his friends carefully to avoid making the headlines for the wrong reasons again.
“Jack Wilshere’s ability with a football at his feet has never been in question. What he requires right now is to show he can match that with his head,” he told The Sun.
“And by that I mean the Arsenal midfielder has some big, big decisions to make — starting with his mates. I’m afraid Jack has got to look very, very closely at who he surrounds himself with.
“When the football is over, go and have a break, have a real blast with your mates. But right now the only club I want to see Jack walking into is Arsenal Football Club.”
Wilshere is arguably set to enter a critical period of his career in the coming years, as after showing such great potential in the early stages, he needs to mature into a leader and consistent performer that can become the face of the football club by being a permanent fixture of the side.
Wenger can’t afford another of his young guns to fall short of expectations, as the pressure continues to build on the Frenchman given the club’s likely lack of silverware this season.
The likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs to name but a few have been scrutinised for their inability to develop to the next, or top, level, and Arsenal supporters will be desperate to see Wilshere avoid a similar path given how good he has been, and can be for the club moving forward.