Wilshere tells Fabregas: Be a man and stay
Published 00:01 13/07/11 By John Cross in Kuala Lumpur
Jack Wilshere has urged Cesc Fabregas to stay at Arsenal for one more year and lead them to success.
Wilshere claims Fabregas proved he was a "real man" last year by staying in north London rather than joining Barcelona, and is desperate for his captain to do another U-turn this summer.
Spanish giants Barcelona are desperate to sign Fabregas and are set to come back for a THIRD bid, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims the Spanish midfielder is torn between his boyhood heroes and current club.
Wilshere says the Gunners desperately need to keep Fabregas and fellow midfielder Samir Nasri - who has just one year left on his contract - to go one better than in 2010-2011 and win trophies next season.
"Loyalty is a big part of football and it shows if you are a real man or not," said the 19-year-old. "There have been a few players who have shown Arsenal great loyalty and hopefully we will get a few more like that. Then we will see if we can get a trophy or not.
"If you are loyal, it means you are a real man. We have got loyalty at Arsenal and players have shown that in the past - Cesc showed that last year and hopefully a few more players will show it this year.
"We have got a good team. We know that and we need to keep our big players. If you look at Tottenham, they are fighting to keep Luka Modric.
"It's the same for any team - you have to keep your best players. We have to keep ours if we want to win things.
"Robin [van Persie] has said we would be devastated if we lose Cesc. It's the same for me. He has been a role model for me and he is the player I want to aspire to.
"It would be a shame if we lose him, but hopefully we can keep hold of him."
Wenger is insistent that Nasri will stay this season, even if Arsenal have to turn down a £25m offer and risk losing him for nothing next summer. Arsenal are also still hopeful he will sign a new deal.
Realistically though, Wenger knows it is not as simple as keeping Fabregas and the manager even admitted that if the Spaniard makes it clear he wants to go, then a deal could be done - if Barca meet Arsenal's demands.
However, with Barcelona once again failing to come up with the money, the situation is becoming an embarrassing saga.
Arsenal clearly feel that they still have hope of keeping Fabregas and are trying to lay on a charm offensive.
Wilshere echoed Van Persie's sentiments on Fabregas and the England starlet also insists that Arsenal can build on last season's disappointments and be successful in 2012.
Arsenal went from chasing a historic Quadruple to finishing another campaign empty handed within a matter of weeks last spring, but Wilshere says that will only strengthen their determination next season as he also reiterated his own long term loyalty to the club.
"It would mean everything to win a trophy," he said. "Last season we just missed out - that last minute against Birmingham [when Arsenal conceded the goal that lost the Carling Cup Final] ruined everything in a way.
"We are always there or thereabouts at the end of the season, but we need to stay strong and maybe [make] a few more signings and we will be all right.
"We have been saying in the last few seasons that we need a bit more toughness, but the boss knows what he is doing. Hopefully he will bring what we need in and we will win something at the end of the year.
"I am happy at Arsenal at the minute. There is no reason for me to think otherwise. I have been here since I was nine - that's 10 years. In those 10 years, I have been really happy.
"I have had a few problems in the past but Arsenal have always looked after me.
"We have spoken about it and helped me get over it. Now I am really focused on helping the club win trophies now.
"I am still young. I like to enjoy my life. But my life is at Arsenal, football is my life and that is the most important thing. But I want to win trophies. Being a role model comes as part and parcel of being a footballer.
"If you look at Theo [Walcott, Wilshere's Arsenal and England team-mate], he has had difficulties in the past and dealt with it brilliantly. There is no reason why I can't."
Wilshere's presence on Arsenal's first big pre-season tour in the Far East has raised a few eyebrows after he missed the European Under-21 Championship last month because he needed a rest.
But Wilshere, who was keen to go to the finals, says he now realises recharging his batteries was crucial - even though he found watching his mates in action difficult.
"Before the tournament, we spoke about how important it was to get my rest and now I feel really rested, I will be ready for the start of the season," he said.
"I went away on a few holidays and put my feet up on a beach and relaxed. I feel refreshed now.
"Of course there was a part of me that wanted to be playing. When you are watching the games you want to play, but you have to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture for me was to rest and be ready for the start of the season.
"We have never done a tour like this before. It has usually been Austria and quite quiet. But they have welcomed us and been great.
"We trained last night and we trained this morning, so we are working hard.
"The most important thing is to be ready for the start of the season, because we have got a Champions League qualifier and a hard [Premier League] start.
"We must train and be ready."