After 534 days and counting since Jack Wilshere last started for Arsenal in the Premier League, is he ready to join the top flight again?
Although Arsenal fans don’t see eye to eye on so many issues ranging from Wenger’s continued stay at the club to the way transfers have been handled, one thing they have been united in however, is the call for Wilshere to be into the starting 11 for league games.
Since his recovery from the broken leg he suffered in April, Wilshere has been magnificent in both preseason and cup games he has featured in so far. He has made six appearances so far this season(four starts) amassing 215 minutes providing two assists (whoscored) but these stats don’t reveal how much influence Wilshere has had in these games, with his best performance coming against BATE Borisov in the Europa league.
An issue for Wilshere getting back into the starting 11 in league games is that by playing exclusively in cup competitions, he is not getting to play with Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey and Lacazette who would undoubtedly elevate his level.
If history is anything to go by, it gives us better insight as to why Arsene Wenger is reluctant to rush Wilshere in. Since he made his debut for Arsenal in 2008, he has suffered 13 injuries (transfermarkt), including the hairline fracture he suffered while enjoying a productive loan spell at AFC Bournemouth. He has missed over 160 games through injury in that period.
Watching Wilshere in the early part of his career gives one an insight into the world class potential the man possess even though it hasn’t materialized due to the stop-start nature of the injuries.
One man who is a staunch believer in Wilshere’s world class potential is Arsene Wenger and he has stated this severally, which has led many to question why he hasn’t involved him in more league games. He has been Wilshere’s manager for almost a decade and he has been eager to give him game time any time he is fit, including altering his formation at times. It hasn’t always proved to be the best of decision with Jack getting injured after a stretch of games. So it is understandable why Wenger is reluctant to rush him because he is trying to get him to peak fitness levels and get the best out of him. Also, he is trying to shoe in Wilshere in an attacking role to utilize his creativity and reduce the situations where he has to dive into tackles.
Hopefully we can fit throughout this season as he tries to revive his career and fulfill his potential.