Wilshere 'holds talks' with Arsenal over U23 and U18 coaching roles

Jack Wilshere ‘holds talks’ with Arsenal over U23 and U18 coaching roles… with academy manager – and his former team-mate – Per Mertesacker tasked with filling roles vacated by Kevin Betsy and Dan Micciche

  • Jack Wilshere has reportedly held talks with Arsenal about vacant coaching roles
  • The ex-Arsenal and England midfielder is currently unattached and not playing 
  • The 30-year-old left Danish side Aarhus last month following a short spell abroad
  • Arsenal are looking to fill both their Under-23 and Under-18 coaching positions 

Jack Wilshere has reportedly held talks with his former club Arsenal about taking on one of their vacant academy coaching roles.  

Both Kevin Betsy, manager of the Under-23s, and Dan Micciche, head coach of the Under-18s, departed for Crawley Town, leaving academy manager Per Mertesacker seeking replacements this summer.

The 30-year-old is still believed to have aspirations of playing but the Evening Standard reports that Wilshere has held talks with former team-mate Mertesacker over the two vacant positions.  

 Jack Wilshere is interested in moving into coaching once he turns his back on playing football

Wilshere (middle) has reportedly held talks with Per Mertesacker (right) over coaching roles

Discussions are believed to be at an early stage and the club are also looking at internal candidates, the report adds.  

Wilshere, 30, is currently without a team following a brief spell in Denmark with Aarhus. 

The former Arsenal midfielder has spent plenty of time around Arsenal’s London Colney base in recent seasons, training with the first team last season while also helping the U23 and U18 set-ups as he looked for a new team. 

Speaking back in February, Wilshere talked up the prospect of pivoting his career down the coaching route.  

Wilshere made his Arsenal debut at the age of 16 as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers 

‘I’ve been doing as much coaching as possible,’ he told Arsenal’s website.

‘Obviously, if the manager needs a player and they’re training at the same time, it was quite difficult, but actually, because of Covid it worked out quite nice that I was training in the morning with the first team and then coaching in the afternoon with the under 18s with Dan, Max, Chris and again, they’ve been really good.

‘I feel even in a short amount of time I’ve improved so much as a coach, I’ve learnt so much about the coaching side of the game, I’ve really enjoyed it.’

Speaking last month, Wilshere added: ‘I didn’t ever reach my full potential as a player – and everyone knows that.

 He spent a brief period in Denmark with Aarhus (pictured) but is currently without a club

‘I don’t think I will ever accept it until I’ve reached that as a coach. It’s a difficult thing to accept and that’s why I still have a big, burning desire in me to be successful in the game.

‘I just feel like there’s something still in me that wants to get to a high level. And that probably won’t ever be as a player again. So if I can do that as a coach, why not?’

Wilshere’s relationship with former team-mate Mertesacker could prove decisive if the German follows up on the reported talks with Wilshere. 

The pair played together at the Emirates Stadium under Arsene Wenger and could now be set for a reunion behind the scenes at the academy. 

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