Arsenal have reportedly held talks with Jack Wilshere as they seek to recruit for their vacant Under-23 and Under-18 head coaching positions.
The Gunners have lost Kevin Betsy, who coached the U23s, and Dan Micciche, who was in charge of the U18s earlier in June – with Betsy and Micciche taking on manager and assistant manager roles respectively at League Two side Crawley Town.
The club have started their recruitment process and the Evening Standard report that Wilshere recently spoke to academy director Per Mertesacker about the roles.
The report adds that Arsenal are also considering internal candidates, but Wilshere is held in high regard by a number of current staff.
Wilshere is currently without a club after leaving Danish club Aarhus in May. The 30-year-old hopes to continue his playing career, but the prospect of coaching appeals to him as well.
“I never reached my full potential as a player – and everyone knows that,” Wilshere said in May.
“I don’t think I’ll ever accept it until I achieve that as a coach. It’s a hard thing to accept and that’s why I still have a great, burning desire within me. to succeed in the game.
“I just feel like there’s still something in me that wants to reach a high level. And it probably won’t ever be as a player again. So if I can do that as a coach, why? not ?
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Arsenal is a big part of Wilshere’s life. He went through their academy before excelling in their first team.
Wilshere made a return to the club in the 2021/22 season as he searched for a new team, training with them to maintain his fitness.
The midfielder has also worked with the club’s U23 and U18 players and explained how much he enjoyed the experience.
“I think I would love to go back to Arsenal and coach, once I have fully made that decision,” Wilshere said in May when asked about retirement.
“That decision could be in a week. It might be in two years. If I can’t find a club to play for, before pre-season or halfway through pre-season, I won’t go to Arsenal to maintain my fitness because then I’ll feel like I’m cling to something that’s not here. With a coaching role, perhaps. We’ll see.
“When I returned to Arsenal I was coaching every day with the Under-18s and Under-23s, I loved every minute. I really enjoyed being back on the pitch and coaching.
The Standard report adds that Wilshere has a “very good relationship” with Mertesacker, who he played with during his time as an Arsenal player.