Why Arsenal must not let Jack Wilshere go
In 2011, a certain 19 year old boy wonder utterly dominated against the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, who at that point were probably the best central midfielders around. The boy was fearless, drove through the Barcelona midfield as though they weren’t there. Those that saw him play that night weren’t used to something out of the blue, for in Jack Wilshere, they had a player that was destined for the very top of world football. While the Gunners would be eliminated by the team that would go on to win the Champions League, this young Englishman had left his mark on the whole of Spain and European football in general.
Fast forward six years later, he is slowly starting to get his career back on track after a number of years with injury and fitness concerns. The 25 year old England international has featured for 90 minutes in the last two Premier League matches for Arsenal, the first time he has managed that feat in over two and a half years for the 2004 Premier League champions. His contract at The Emirates expires at the end of the season, as the club mull over extending his contract.
He has been beset by injuries but his commitment to the cause shows that it would be foolhardy for the club to let him go. Last season at Bournemouth, he made over 25 league appearances which showed that he still has the ability and capability to still cut it in the league. With Arsenal looking forward to the post-Wenger era following the arrival of former Barcelona sporting director, Raul Sanhelli, Wilshere could be a major part of that future as he is homegrown, loved the club and would do anything to defend its honour despite his many on-field issues.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are expected to depart north London soon, meaning that the club must keep other star players to help launch a new era that Arsenal fans all over the world would be proud of. A majority of pundits believe that Wilshere has not kicked on from his early promise as a teenager, however, seeing him in recent matches show that he is a player still with ability but needs regular playing time to get to the very top.
Arsenal refused to give Mesut Ozil his no. 10 jersey despite him being out injured and away from the club for a number of years, meaning that they still see him as a player for the future. On his day, his passing, intelligence, driving runs and creativity are up there with the very best. Detractors may point to the fact that the statistics show him scoring and assisting goals lesser than his contemporaries, though the player is one we can call a midfielder that gives assists before assists, which means he is most times actively involved in the buildup to a goal rather than laying the final pass or scoring himself.
As a boyhood fan, Arsenal need him to repay the faith they have shown to him after sticking with him after his injury hell, and repay he would. Almost 200 matches after his debut in the league cup against Blackburn Rovers back in 2008, the club must stick by him for the next 250 to 350 games, which promises to be the best of his career.
This is a Guest post by Pat from ArsenalfcBlog.com