Say It Quietly, but Jack Wilshere Is Fighting Back at Arsenal
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Say It Quietly, but Jack Wilshere Is Fighting Back at Arsenal

The football rollercoaster never stops and at one stage Jack Wilshere looked like he was all set to be thrown off, with injuries eating into one of the brightest careers in English football.

Arsenal farmed him out on loan to Bournemouth last season, where initial promise was replaced by more injury woe.

The end seemed nigh for Wilshere at Arsenal, but the summer transfer window came and went without a move – leaving him back at London Colney and fighting for his place.

He’s not yet part of manager Arsene Wenger’s first choice XI; has not yet featured in the Premier League this season, but he came through another 90 minutes in the Europa League – and impressively as well.

A Thursday evening in Belarus against BATE Borisov is a long way removed from a big Premier League clash, but the way Wilshere orchestrated play from the middle of the park during Arsenal’s 4-2 win bodes extremely well for the future.

The class and vision have not gone away and it has to be remembered that Wilshere is still only 25, so there is time for him to realise his potential.

There is the nagging worry that injuries could intervene once again, but Wenger was delighted with how the England man pulled the strings and stretched BATE with his passing on Thursday evening.

“He is at an age where a player normally gets to the best of his career,” Wenger said, per Arsenal’s official website. “He is on the way up and he has only been stopped by a series of injuries.

“Hopefully, I just pray that he is not hampered anymore by any problems and then we will see him getting stronger and stronger. He has shown again tonight that he has not lost his football.”

Wenger will be all too aware of the need to gradually build Wilshere back up to full speed, so he is unlikely to feature in the Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

But with Santi Cazorla unlikely to return before the turn of the year, there is a need for a Wilshere-style player in the Arsenal side.

Chelsea have Cesc Fabregas, Manchester City have David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester United have Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata, Liverpool have Philippe Coutinho; Tottenham have Christian Eriksen.

The Gunners are crying out for that type of player, a difference maker in the final third. Wilshere can be that man; it’s hoped that he can strap himself back on the football rollercoaster. Arsenal and England would be better for it.

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