Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has insisted he has no desire to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer, despite being reportedly linked with a big-money summer switch to Manchester City.
The England international has been with the Gunners throughout his professional career, but has struggled to secure a place in Arsene Wenger’s lineup at the back end of last season after a lengthy injury-caused spell on the sidelines.
That sparked suggestions that the 23-year-old’s future at the club may be less than secure, but Wilshere has told reporters he is determined to stay with the North London outfit for as long as the club wants him.
“I’ve grown up at Arsenal and as long as Arsenal want me, I’m happy,” he said at an England national team squad press conference.
“I’d want to be wanted by a club, I want to be wanted by Arsenal. It’s been a frustrating season. There have probably been more lows than highs.”
Wilshere went on to address the suggestion that he needed to change his style of play in a bid to avoid the injuries which continue to interrupt his career, as he argued that he would be wrong to alter the approach that has made him a regular in Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions side.
“When I was injured, a few people said I should change my game, that should get it and pass it,” he explained.
“It did go through my head, I thought: ‘Maybe they are right, maybe I should.’ But as soon as I came back and I got on the ball, I just wanted to run with it.
“You look at the best dribblers in the world, [Lionel] Messi and [Andres] Iniesta, it seems to stick to their foot. I can work on that when I am dribbling, but I am never going to change my game.
“You have to learn from your mistakes and the only way you are going to evolve as a person and as a footballer is by making mistakes and learning from them.”
Wilshere also admitted he needed to block out criticism from several areas, as he suggested his social media feeds were a source of negativity that needed to be ignored.
“Nowadays it’s not just the media that are writing about you,” he continued.
“All I have got to do now is look at my phone and I am probably getting abused on Twitter every few minutes. You definitely get a thicker skin and learn to deal with it.
“It comes with age. I’m still a passionate player, still hot-headed, but I have calmed down a bit. I feel I am a better player when I am just focused on my football.”
Wilshere also felt that England should use Germany’s national team as an example of the levels they want to reach in the upcoming years, with the reigning world champions as an inspiration to a player who has been assigned the task of anchoring Hodgson’s midfielder in the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers.
“Remember when Germany lost all their big players and they started again with [Mesut] Ozil, and [Sami] Khedira when they were in South Africa,” he added, referring to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
“They had a really good World Cup and now look at them.
“That’s the way we want to go. We’ll definitely be in a better position come this time next year. We are getting better and better every game.”