Jack Wilshere has made first appearance for his new side Aarhus Gymnastikforening after signing as a free transfer.
The 30-year-old joined the Danish team last week after returning to London Colney to train with Mikel Arteta‘s Arsenal squad in October, following his struggles to find a team after being released by Bournemouth.
During his time back in North London the England international also spent plenty of time coaching the Gunners youngsters such as Charlie Patino, and considered retiring to focus on this as a career. However, after getting a taste for the first team environment Wilshere deciding his playing days weren’t quite over yet.
“I always said that in my career I wanted to try something different,” he said upon signing for AGF. “I think now was the right time to step out of my comfort zone, step out of England and try something different.”
And now the Hale End graduate has made his first appearance for his new club in what was an eventful Friday night encounter.
There are currently just four games remaining of the regular Danish Superliga season before it splits off into its playoff phase.
At this point the top six sides will enter another mini-league, with the winner of this being crowned Danish Champions and securing a place in the Champions League second qualifying round.
Wilshere’s new side AGF currently sit seventh in the table and knew that with a win away to bottom side Vejle BK, they could give their chances of advancing to the championship playoff a real boost.
Despite this manager David Nielsen – who spent time in England with Grimsby, AFC Wimbledon and Norwich City during his own playing career – decided to leave the 30-year-old on the bench from the start.
This meant that he was absent for a thrilling first half in which AGF took the lead just three minutes in when Mustapha Bundu headed them in front.
Aarhus were quickly pegged back though as relegation candidates Vejle equalised through Spanish defender Raul Albentosa on the 10 minute mark.
It wasn’t too long until the visitors were back in front though as Nicolai Poulsen headed them back in front just seven minutes later despite a late VAR check.
Wilshere was then sent out to get warm on a freezing cold February night in Denmark causing raptuous applause from the away supporters. This though did not last long as they found themselves again pegged back just three minutes before half time as Arbnor Mucolli poked home.
A rollercoaster first half was then brought to a close but not without VAR having to intervene to rule out what AGF had briefly thought was their third goal of the night due to an offside by Bundu in the build up to Patrick Mortensen’s strike.
An enthralling first period was then followed by a bizarre start to the second as play was stopped in the 46th minute when a floodlight at the Vejle Stadium lost power.
The delay lasted well over 10 minutes before the referee decided to call the players back into the dressing room in order for them to stay warm.
Play did eventually resume and a relatively even second period saw Vejle have the better chances.
Eventually though Wilshere was brought on in what was technically the 90th minute. However, due to the earlier stoppage brought about by the floodlight failure a whopping 16 minutes were added on, leaving the former Arsenal man with plenty of time to impact the game.
The England international was on set piece duties and put in a few corners before having a well hit half volley on goal that was blocked, but his introduction could do little to prevent a shock ending.
In what was the games 99th minute Mouhamadou Drammeh popped up with a crucial winner for Vejle, to send the home fans into delirium.
AGF were not able to launch a come back and now find themselves four points off 6th placed Randers having played a game more than the side who Leicester beat in the Europa Conference League this week.
It was a bad start to life for Wilshere at his new club who now need a miracle if they are going to make it into the Danish Superliga championship playoffs.