Jack Wilshere has been used as a reason to poke fun at Arsenal in recent seasons, but breakthrough star Alex Iwobi has praised the midfielder.
The 24 year-old is set to return to the senior playing squad for the Premier League tie with Sunderland this weekend, having survived his way through three Under-21 matches over the past two weeks.
Wilshere has had a number of injuries already in his young career, and has become the butt of a number of jokes from Gunners fans as well as rival clubs for his lack of fitness and regular off-the-field antics. Despite all the negativity surrounding the player, Iwobi has moved to praise his team-mate.
The 19 year-old is enjoying his first season in the first-team squad, and is fast becoming a fans favourite following a string of explosive displays. The Nigeria international is the latest academy product to emerge through the ranks at Arsenal, and he has described Wilshere as an inspiration to the younger players.
Iwobi said: “He’s helped me out massively… he’s brilliant on the ball, he’s able to find space and he’s the master of the no-touch turn. He doesn’t even need to touch the ball, he just shields it with his body and turns away from defenders with ease.
“It’s something that us youth team players used to watch and then try in training. He’s a big inspiration for us. A couple of times in training we used to get together and practice the ‘Jack Wilshere turn’, but nobody can do it as well as he can!
“It will be great to have him back. He’s definitely a player with lots of energy but he combines that with scoring goals and getting assists. He’s definitely a key player to the team in my opinion,” he added.
Wilshere has looked sharp in his recent appearances for the reserve side, and I think that his impressive ability has kind of been lost in our minds amidst all the injury and fitness issues.
Will Wilshere give us a much needed push to hold onto our place in the top four?