When Jack Wilshere burst into the Arsenal first team at the tender age of 16, he followed Theo Walcott by being hailed as the “Future of England” with his bulldog attitude and limitless confidence but, like Walcott, his development has been severely hampered by injuries.
Sometimes it seems ike he has been at Arsenal for years and years, but the fact is that he is still only 23 and could still have a long career in front of him IF he can shake off these constant injury problems.
The Spanish midfielder Xavi was extremely impressed with the young Jack, and really believes that he can still become a world-class player for Arsenal and England, with a few of those IFs thrown in. “If he had a career that had been injury-free we would already be talking about him as one of the top central midfield players in Europe,” Xavi said.
“I have played against him, I have watched him carefully, and if he can overcome injuries, then he can still go on an be one of the best midfield players in the world.
“With all respect, he doesn’t play the English way.
“He has an excellent passing range, an ability not to lose the ball, it is clear that he has had his education at Arsenal.
“For many years now the one position England have not struggled with is world-class midfield players. Scholes, and then more recently Lampard and Gerrard.
“Now I see Wilshere as the future of English football, that is why it is so important they keep him fit.”
Xavi was talking ahead of England’s friendly against Spain, but it sounds like he doesn’t know that both Wilshere and Walcott are out injured again. He said: “England have so much pace with Walcott and Sterling, that with the vision of Wilshere’s passing they can cause all teams a lot of problems, that’s how I see them setting up most effectively.
“Yes, the game is a friendly, but with it being so close to the European Championship every game is so important now.
“The coaches need to decide on their best team and formation, and the players don’t have many chances left now to fight for a place in the team.”
We all know that Wilshere would probably be an automatic starter for England when fit, more so then Arsenal even, but he really does have to somehow get over these injuries. I sometimes wonder if, like Walcott, he will ever play a full season without being crocked. But there are just too many IFs in there for me at the moment….