Jack Wilshere smoking: Arsene Wenger wants to speak to the midfielder this week ahead of make-or-break season

The 22-year-old was photographed was pictured with a cigarette for a second time this week while on holiday

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The Independent Football

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger wants to speak to Jack Wilshere this week after the England midfielder  attracted negative headlines this week – and believes the coming season could be pivotal if the player is to reach his full potential.

Wilshere was criticised by his manager last season after he was pictured smoking a cigarette outside a nightclub and, in the aftermath, pledged it would not happen again.

But the 22-year-old was photographed smoking again this week while on holiday, and Wenger, while not overly concerned, wants to find out what exactly happened. “I haven’t spoken to him so it’s very difficult for me to make any statement,” said the manager. “I know what you can make of pictures – I have to speak to him really to see what happened before I come out publicly.

“I’m not deeply concerned by it. I just want to know what happened and before I know what happened, I don’t want to talk too much about it.”

A common consensus is that Wilshere’s career has stalled over recent years, with injury and fluctuating form taking a hold.


Wenger will speak to the player this week but insists next season  could be an important one for him. “He’s at an age where you want him to move forward,” he said. “He has the potential. I believe for him, the most important [thing] now is to have a good preparation and focus on getting really fit.

“Jack is a great player – he has a football brain and he’s ambitious. I’m sure that [if] he’s injury free, he will have a great season.”

Wenger has signed the France full-back Mathieu Debuchy and the Chile striker Alexis Sanchez this summer and says more new faces will arrive.