Jack Wilshere has already started coaching badges

Matt Stead

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he has already started his coaching badges.

Wilshere’s contract at Arsenal expires next summer, but the midfielder is in negotiations to extend his deal.

At the age of 25, the England international would be forgiven for not looking towards the future, but he has already started his coaching badges to prepare for a career after playing.

“Last year when I was at Bournemouth, because they’re not in Europe and didn’t have a midweek game, it seemed like an opportunity,” Wilshere told the Arsenal Podcast.

“A few of the lads were talking about doing their Level Two and I thought, I’m going to jump on it.

“I really enjoyed it, while I’m fit and playing and healthy I might not need it, but even if I’ve got another 10 years left in me I don’t want to be at the end of my career and maybe have a year out and be thinking, what do I want to do…and then have to go through Level Two, UEFA B, UEFA A.

“I’m doing my UEFA B at the minute. Luckily I’ve got great facilities here at Arsenal, great players and the PFA and the FA have been great and really helpful. I’m going to complete that and then see what I want to do.

“It was Per’s idea,” Wilshere added of Mertesacker, who will take up a role with the club’s academy next season. “I told him we’d done it at Bournemouth and we were chatting about it.

“He said, if you want to do it with me, I’m doing it. I was up for it. I think Per’s going to be great at that job. He might need an assistant one day, you never know!

“He’s got that character, he’s a great captain even though he’s not playing [regularly]. He’s the most positive, he wants the team to do well and he’s a great example to young players.”