Jack Wilshere Arsenal 2022-23Getty Images

Jack Wilshere: Future Arsenal manager?

Per Mertesacker could only cross his fingers when Jack Wilshere sat down in front of him, Mikel Arteta and Edu last summer to interview for the vacant Arsenal Under-18s job. The German, who has spent the past five years as academy manager in north London having called time on his playing career, had pushed for his former team-mate to go for the role after previous head coach Dan Micciche had left for Crawley Town.

But the 2014 World Cup winner still wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the inexperienced Wilshere in such a highly pressurised situation.

“I was praying that Jack would turn up and be himself,” said Mertesacker. “That was a moment when the truth comes.

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“It was brilliant to see him presenting himself, what he stands for, what he wants to be like, what coach he wants to be and how he wants to play.

“I don’t regret it whatsoever, putting him in front of the people. He delivered in that moment.”

And with an FA Youth Cup final berth secured in his first season in charge, Wilshere has carried on delivering.

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