Eddie Howe has hopes that Jack Wilshere’s time with Arsenal will see him return to the club a stronger player.
Wilshere joined the Cherries on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day, despite interest from Roma and AC Milan.
And Howe believes that Wilshere’s game will develop in a positive environment where he can thrive after suffering various injuries and spells out of Arsene Wenger’s team.
“I think it is a brave decision for his career but hopefully a good one,” Howe said. “Hopefully when he looks back in a year’s time, he will see it as a turning point in his career for the better.”
“If you had said to me [a few years ago] that we would have the opportunity to sign someone like Jack I would have said it is not possible.
Wilshere made his debut against one of his suitors, AC Milan, in a friendly defeat last weekend, and Howe feels that the England international’s arrival is a massive step for the club to take in the right direction.
“It is a moment we look on and think ‘wow, that is a big moment for the football club’.
“It is a different path for us, there are risks attached to that but there are also huge benefits if it goes well.”
Roma and Milan were not the only clubs to chase the services of Wilshere, with 20 competitors, including Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, and Howe has admitted that it was the midfielder’s reluctance to move abroad that pushed through the deal to take him to the Vitality Stadium.
“I think the key thing for Jack is he wants to stay in the Premier League, I think that was important for us [getting the deal done],” said Howe.
“[Arsenal] were happy to go with Jack’s decision but I think it had to be a good fit.
“Ultimately Arsenal want us to get the best out of Jack and it will benefit everybody if his loan spell is successful, so the environment had to be right and all parties will benefit.”
Howe’s acquisition of Wilshere has brought a positive effect on the team, and as a result, each squad member is pushing themselves harder in an effort to impress.
“He has settled into the dynamics and the changing room very well,” said Howe. “I think he has been very bright in training, as you would expect.
“It has given other players a lift. The level of training has gone up because he is here but ultimately our players are going to enjoy playing with him.”
Wilshere can be expected to make his Bournemouth at home to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, hoping to catch the eye of three men in the process.
For one, the 24-year-old will want to impress Howe, but also Wenger in the hope that he will eventually convince the Frenchman to place him in the starting eleven.
In addition, Wilshere will be making every effort to win his place in Sam Allardyce’s England team, after missing out on selection for international duty against Slovakia.
This is a huge season for Wilshere, and one that will be a turning point in his career. The only man who can tell us what lies on his future path, however, is the man himself.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.