Former Arsenal centre-back Martin Keown has demanded that Arsene Wenger recalls Jack Wilshere to his Premier League team.
Wilshere, 25, has made eight appearances for Arsenal during the 2017-18 campaign, although six of those have come in the cup competitions.
The midfielder, who is valued at £13.5m by transfermarkt.co.uk, has actually only played 25 minutes of Premier League football this season, but did impress off the bench in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.
Wenger has thus far been reluctant to start a player that will be out of contract at the end of this season, but Keown has claimed that the defeat at City proves that Wilshere should be handed a starting role in the Premier League.
Keown wrote in his column for the Daily Mail:
“This defeat proved that it is time for Jack Wilshere to return to Arsenal’s first team. Arsene Wenger’s game plan was to stop Manchester City playing and for periods, it worked.
“But where was Arsenal’s midfield creativity? They were not able to play the way they wanted in the final third and that is where Wilshere would have made a difference.
“He commits defenders, he creates space, he finds that pass for Alexis Sanchez or Alexandre Lacazette.”
Wilshere spent last season on loan at Bournemouth after being deemed surplus to requirements, and had been tipped to leave Arsenal during the summer.
The Englishman turned down a host of interest to fight for his spot at the Emirates Stadium, however, and he is still said to be confident of winning a new contract.