England star Jack Wilshere open to playing for a Dubai club

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Former Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre and ex-Arsenal midfield ace Jack Wilshere receive a copy of Sheikh Mohammed’s ‘My Story’. (Supplied photo)

Wilshere said he was "open to offers" from clubs around the world, including those in Dubai

Former France and Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre, and ex-Arsenal and England midfield ace Jack Wilshere were presented with a copy of My Story, the anecdotal reminiscence of His Highness Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and honoured the duo with the Medal of First Line of Defence as well.

Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, presented My Story and the commemorative medals to Silvestre and Wilshere at the Dubai Sports Council headquarters in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, according to a press release.

The Medal of First Line of Defence pays homage to the selfless service of Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Health Authority, and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services in the fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Dubai. Together, they were at the forefront of the Emirate’s fight to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Thanking Dubai Sports Council for the Medal, Wilshere, who is currently training in Dubai, said: “I am here in Dubai, using the Nad Al Sheba Sports Club facilities — fantastic facilities. I have been training there for a few days now. I wanted to come over here and really step up my training and get to a good level of fitness.

“I have been coming to Dubai for 10 years. My family, they love it. My kids, they love it. The people here are really kind. They look after us and yeah, I will be coming here a lot more in the future.”

Wilshere, 28, who came up through Arsenal’s youth academy and impressed from an early age, made his first-team debut in 2008 to become Arsenal’s youngest ever league debutant at the age of 16 years, 256 days. Over the following decade, he earned a number of accolades including the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2010-11, as well as Arsenal’s Player of the Season award that same year.

Injuries, however, hampered his career at the Gunners and he eventually left the Emirates Stadium in 2018 to join West Ham United on a three-year contract. The contract, however, was mutually terminated in October, 2020, as Wilshere could only manage 19 appearances in two years.

Speaking about this future, Wilshere said he is keen on getting back to playing as soon as possible, and was “open to offers” from clubs around the world, including those in Dubai.

Silvestre, who spent a decade at Manchester United and won five English Premier League titles and the Uefa Champions League, was delighted to receive the honour and said: “I love Dubai and I am living here with my family now. The people are really nice here and the city is amazing, the lifestyle is amazing and it is very safe – the perfect place to live with your family.”

The “Be Fit, Be Safe” campaign was launched by Dubai Sports Council in March to encourage members of the community to continue exercising at home following the precautionary closure of gyms to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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