Once upon a time, Jack Wilshere looked to have the world at his feet.
Having come through the Arsenal academy, he managed his first senior appearance for the club at just 16 years of age. By the time he was 19, not only was he a key player for Arsene Wenger, but he had also been named the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Sadly, we all know what happened next.
After injuries curtailed his time with the Gunners, he spent two spells with Bournemouth and some time at West Ham before finding himself without a club at the beginning of this season.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have at least offered him a place at London Colney to keep fit and also impart advice on the club’s youngsters, but it seems there is the slight possibility that Wilshere may never play professionally again.
While speaking to BBC Sport, the 29-year-old was asked about the chances of retirement.
He replied: “I have to think about it.”
Before adding: “That is why I am doing the coaching. I have been forced into doing it a little bit but I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Despite his honest response, Wilshere is hardly waving the white flag on his career just yet. He claimed that he is certain he can still play.
“I don’t care what people say or write or what they say on social media,” he said. “I am an honest guy. If I didn’t think I could, I would be the first to say ‘enough, I am going to do something else’.
“But I am almost at the point where I think something different, abroad, might be beneficial to me.”
This is not the first time in the recent past that the Arsenal academy graduate has alluded to a potential move overseas. While speaking on talkSPORT towards the end of October he referenced America as a possible destination.
“I’d like to go abroad actually,” he said. “Obviously I would like to play in the Premier League as well. But I would also like to play abroad.
“I’m training with Arsenal ‘til the end of January, the MLS start their pre-season in January.”
As per Transfermarkt, Wilshere hasn’t had an injury since September 2020, during his time at West Ham. Considering he has played 14 times for Bournemouth in the Championship since, he could have put the worst of his fitness issues behind him.
Still only 29, the midfielder may have plenty to offer yet before he hangs up his boots. Perhaps MLS would be the perfect place to get his career back moving.