Wilshere to open talks over Arsenal return after having "depressive thoughts"
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Jack Wilshere is set to open talks over a return to Arsenal training after battling "depressive thoughts" while working on his fitness alone.
Wilshere was recently told by former Gunners team-mate Mikel Arteta the door was "always open" for him to train with the Premier League side.
The 29-year-old has been looking for a new club since leaving Bournemouth at the end of last season, and recently trained with Serie B side Como in Italy.
But he said he is ready to take Arteta up on his offer as he looks to revive a career that once saw him marked out as England's next star.
"To hear the manager – who I played with, who I had a good relationship with, I really enjoyed playing with him, sharing the dressing room with him – to hear him come out and say the door is always open is nice," Wilshere told Sky Sports.
"It can only help me. Being around good players, training with world-class players and as well just being in a team environment is something I'm interested in.
"I'm sure that I'll have a conversation with someone at the club over the next couple of days."
Wilshere's comments will have Arsenal fans pondering whether he could still do a job for the Gunners, with Arteta still trying to find the right blend in his midfield.
He looked set for a bright future with club and country after starring in Arsenal's Champions League win against Barcelona in 2011, when he was up against the likes of Lionel Messi and a midfield of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
Could Jack Wilshere still do a job for Arsenal? Have your say in the comments below
Wilshere went on to make 198 appearances for the club, winning two FA Cups, but his progress was hampered by a succession of injuries both at Arsenal and later at West Ham.
He has since played for Bolton and Bournemouth, but left the Cherries in the summer and has opened up on the difficulties he has faced since.
He told Sky Sports : "When I spoke out that I was training on my own, that I was having these thoughts of: 'What am I training for?'
"The response from everyone really – but mainly people in the game that I respect, ex-players, people that I look up to reaching out to me, saying you’ve still got a lot to give – it made me even more hungry to come back and just enjoy my football again."
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Wilshere urged to speak about their mental health challenges, saying "depressive thoughts don’t care if you’re a footballer".
"Us as players have to be willing to speak up, speak about our feelings and realise it’s not a weakness, it’s actually really brave and people will help you if you need help," he said at an event in London for a mental health campaign organised by CALM and Original Penguin.
"The biggest feeling is relief – sometimes you don’t even know that you’re holding onto these feelings.
"Some people might think it’s normal to have these feelings, especially when you’re a footballer and things aren’t going well, you question everything.
"I always thought that speaking out or speaking to someone – especially in the media – would almost come across as a weakness because the general perception of footballers is that 'they have everything, what have they got to moan about? They’ve got a great life.'
"The depressive thoughts don’t care if you’re a footballer. I think it’s important to speak out."
- Premier League
- Arsenal FC
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