Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe keen to sign midfielder Jack Wilshere permanently

02 April 2017 10:54

Eddie Howe remains determined to sign Jack Wilshere on a permanent basis despite relegating the midfielder to Bournemouth's substitutes.

Despite his arrival on loan from Arsenal last summer being considered a significant coup, he has started the past four games on the bench and was left out of the most recent England squad.

However Howe, tipped in some quarters as a potential future manager of the national team, still hopes to sign Wilshere at the end of the season and could recall him at Liverpool on Wednesday after Andrew Surman suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Southampton.

"I've always said, 'We love Jack, we would love to sign him'," said Howe, 39. "But that decision will rest with Arsenal, with Jack, with other people: it's out of our hands. And Jack may well see his future elsewhere.

"He did say as soon as he came to us that he'd totally commit to us for the season, and then in the summer sort out of his future.

"There's so many variables, there's so many things that can change, it's not the right time. We've got to concentrate on results and the games we've got coming up.

"Jack obviously wouldn't want to start from the bench, he'd want to be playing, but since the Manchester United game - he felt his ankle against Manchester City - the team's done very well, and it's very difficult to take either centre-forward out.

"What he has done when he's come on is showed he's got a great attitude; he's trained so well, and that's reflected when he's come on the pitch, he's been outstanding. He really was the defining factor in us gaining total control (against Southampton)."

Wilshere, 25, has been joined on the bench by £15million club-record signing Jordon Ibe, and Ireland's Harry Arter, who will also be in contention to replace Surman.

"We've got real competition in that position," the manager said. "It's probably the area of the team where I've got an array of options. You've seen Harry Arter come off the bench: he's been outstanding for us this season. You've got Jack; Dan Gosling's done very well for us in recent weeks

"(Wilshere's) been an outstanding professional. And I can't speak highly enough of him, as a player and as a person. If you look at Jack's season overall, there's massive, massive positives.

"He's played so many games, a lot of 90 minutes: this is just a little spell where he's been out of the team but he's still coming on to great effect. Overall he's stayed fit: it has to be a huge positive for him, this season."

Source: PA