Martin Keown has claimed that Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka are keeping Jack Wilshere out of contention for Arsenal at present, but can he force his manager to consider him?
The former Gunners youth product has long been considered a future captain of our side, but has looked like an exit could be on the cards in recent seasons.
Wilshere was expected to be the next big thing to come through our academy after impressing in a number of high-profile matches while still making his mark on the senior game. Unfortunately a number of injury setbacks halted his progression, and he has struggled to hit those heights in recent seasons.
Jack looks to be on his way back to full fitness at present however, and could well be in contention for a first-team role in the coming months, but could he persuade Wenger to demote Xhaka or Ramsey from the first XI? Keown believes not…
He is quoted: “Jack Wilshere won’t get in ahead of Aaron Ramsey because he’s right-footed and you need that balance and movement. He needs an injury to happen to one of Arsenal’s first choice players – presumably Xhaka – to get a chance.
“Every time Wilshere has been involved, he still has something available to offer. If Xhaka’s form was to dip, then he would have an opportunity and you would imagine he could take it.
“He needs to be available every week. I think it’s good news for Arsene Wenger.
“Wenger might need to pick him for three over a week. Jack needs to be ready for that. Let’s see, but I think Wenger will be happy to have him available and still at the club. It might just be cameo appearances for now.”
Keown then added that a loan deal could not be ruled out from January, although I’m not sure I agree considering his contract will only have six months left to run and a temporary move would be of little to no benefit to our club.
“I can’t remember him playing 90 minutes recently,” Keown added. “Bournemouth was a good opportunity for Jack. They only played one game a week.
“Jack himself can assess the situation in January. If he’s not happy, Wenger will let him leave on loan – he’s shown that before.”
Wilshere still has a keen eye for finding those key balls which can open up defences, and could be a huge plus for our squad, but is he ready for first-team football again? Does he deserve to be in contention to replace Ram or Granit?