Since breaking through in 2010-2011, Jack Wilshere has been known as the “next big thing. However, Wilshere’s development has not gone as everyone hoped it would. The young England international has been troubled with injuries throughout his young career. Wilshere had a terrible time after his breakthrough season missing 17 months through injury, and since then the young Arsenal midfielder has had a tough time staying fit.
Wilshere is still quite young with time to make an impression, but he can’t let himself get left behind. Arsenal have been busy in the transfer window and are rumored to be looking at a defensive midfielder. The Gooners’ hole at defensive midfield, coupled with Wilshere falling behind Aaron Ramsey in the pecking order, have brought up two questions: what is the Englishman’s best position, and where does he fit into the squad?
What is Wilshere’s Best Position?
Wilshere was used as a bit of a utility man in 2013/2014 playing a host of different positions. The England international played as a deep lying midfielder, a winger, and even played as a 10 once or twice. This has people wondering what his best position is. The Arsenal academy product has shown that he is competent playing out wide, starting 11 games over the course of the season, and was also serviceable as a number 10. His best position though, is as a deep lying playmaker, or a box to box midfielder.
There have been some suggestions that Wilshere would play as an anchorman, but that doesn’t seem to fit with the Englishman’s game. The 22 year old’s best work comes when he picks up the ball, goes past players, and then looks for that incisive creative pass. If he was to play as the deepest midfield player, sitting in front of the defense, you would either take away his best qualities or leave the defense horribly exposed. One of Wilshere’s biggest problems is his lack of positional discipline. Too many times he is caught marauding forward with no desire to track back. That lack of discipline would be exposed if he was to play as the deepest midfielder. Jack is also good at spraying the ball around from deep in the midfield. Arsene Wenger has always maintained that the young Englishman’s best position is as a deep lying playmaker.
Where does Wilshere Fit In?
At the moment, as talented as he is, I don’t think Jack Wilshere makes it into many people’s Arsenal best 11 for next season. The problem for him is that Arsenal’s Welsh wizard, Aaron Ramsey, plays in his best position. No one is displacing Arsenal’s FA Cup hero after the season he just had. This means Wilshere will likely be used to rotate with Ramsey. The Englishman will need to focus on having a season where he is able to stay fit and not have any long periods out with injury. Proving to not only Arsene Wenger, but to himself that he can stay injury free would be a huge step for him. The 22 year old will get his plenty of games, if he can stay fit, and get plenty of chances to show that his game is improving.
Things haven’t worked out as quickly for Jack Wilshere as he would have liked. But he still has time on his side and still has all that talent in him. It’s not quite at the point that this is a make or break season for Wilshere, but he does have to show he is progressing and that he can stay for for an entire season. Wilshere will have a big part to play in Arsenal’s upcoming season if they want to challenge on all four fronts.