Whatever happened to Wilshere? by Precious Evovo
Hello, everyone. Sometimes I retrospect about some classic Arsenal games over the years, and one of such games which always come to mind is the 1st leg Champions league round of 16 clash at home against Barcelona in the 2010/2011 season. I remember how we defeated a team which as at the time was undoubtedly the best in the world with such execution and passion in our performance. Many players produced the goods on that day, and chief among them was Jack Wilshere, who in the midst of an astonishing personal season produced such maturity and composure beyond his years, churning out an unforgettable midfield display against the Spanish midfield maestros- Xavi and Iniesta. At that time, many (myself included!) saw a future Arsenal and England captain, maybe, just maybe, a future Ballon d’or winner- but fast forward six years, and, Jack, now 25, is slowly fading into oblivion and the annals of history.
In hindsight, it all started going downhill in the summer of 2011 when Jack suffered an ankle injury on England duty in June, and in an attempt to avoid surgery, had to wear a protective boot to guard the right ankle. Having been left out by Stuart Pearce (with pressure from Wenger) for the under- 21 European championships in Denmark that year, It was thought that a summer rest in the close season would be enough to cure the problem, but it didn’t suffice.
And he eventually aggravated the injury, suffering a stress fracture ankle injury playing for Arsenal in the Emirates cup against New York Red Bulls and since then has gone on to develop an unenviable Diaby- esque injury record, experiencing not less than 20 injuries, with the latest being a leg break whilst on loan at Bournemouth. Poor Jack. His troubles are reminiscent of Abou Diaby who never recovered from his injury nightmare, and was eventually released in the summer of 2015.
Albeit naïve, I really hope next year, Wilshere manages to have a full season devoid of injuries and returns to those levels he showed in the yesteryears, but if there is anything I’ve learnt from Arsenal, it’s that: the more things change, the more they remain the same. Notwithstanding with Santi’s recent injury problems, and with Coquelin and Elneny having turned out some suspect performances this past season, it wouldn’t be imprudent to have Jack in the squad – his obvious talents isn’t of the type you let go off too quickly.
Only a few years ago, we seemed to have a future club captain with immense passion for the shirt in an era of conditioned enthusiasm. Whether he’d want to stay when he doesn’t have a clear enough path to the first team remains to be seen. Recent reports suggests Italian side Sampdoria are seeking to lure Wilshere to Serie A. Perhaps Jack might see this as a viable option – a different country where he would hone his craft without incessant criticisms. If it does go through though, It would be a shame, because his talents deserves far more. Far, far more.