Why Arsenal must look beyond his ‘bad boy’ antics

Despite making the wrong sort of headlines more often than minutes he’s played on the pitch recently, Jack Wilshere remains a key player for Arsenal. According to reports in the Mirror, the England international has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, but keeping Wilshere is an absolute must for Arsene Wenger.

It’s hard to believe that Wilshere is still only 23 – the midfielder seems to have been in the heart of the Arsenal and England midfield for so long now. Despite being injury prone and enduring another frustrating stop-start campaign again this year, he remains one of Arsenal’s most vital players. Although Wilshere has come under some criticism over the last couple of years for not yet developing into the star people expected him to become; Wilshere has time on his side. And if the player could keep himself fit for an entire Premier League season, there’s no reason why he can’t get back to his stunning best.

Wilshere, who had already been caught smoking twice in public, made bad press again last week when a photo was posted on Instagram that showed the Arsenal star holding a shisha pipe in a nightclub. After already apologising for the previous incidents, it may not have been the wisest of moves from the Stevenage-born footballer, especially as he’s in the latter stages of recovering from his ankle injury.

The Arsenal No. 10 suffered the injury setback in the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United back in Novemeber. Prior to his injury, Wilshere was a constant fixture in the Arsenal first team, as well as being England’s first-choice central midfielder in the vital Euro 2016 Qualifiers. Wilshere has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the north London club so far this term.

After three frustrating months on the sidelines, the hard-tackling midfielder will be itching to get back on the football field. Arsene Wenger told BBC Sport before Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Leicester City on Tuesday night, that he’s still unsure on the exact date of his return, saying: “We have to monitor him daily. I don’t know when he’ll return.”

When Wilshere does make his long-awaited comeback, Wenger will once again have the nice problem of who to choose from, in what is now an extremely talented midfield. Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil have recently come back from injury themselves, and neither of them will easily be dislodged from the side.

Although, Ramsey did come on in the 73rd minute against the Foxes only to hobble off nine minutes later with a muscular problem. If the Welshman is set for another spell on the sidelines, then Wilshere’s eagerly anticipated return becomes even more crucial for the Gunners.

Despite the disappointment of losing to their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend, Wenger’s side put the Spurs defeat to the back of their minds, and got the much-needed three points against bottom-placed Leicester City on Tuesday. The Gunners may not have been at their best, but the win lifts them above Manchester United into the top four, level on points with Southampton.

Jack Wilshere still has an awful lot to offer in an Arsenal shirt. He may still have some more developing to do, but the 23-year-old certainly deserves another fair crack of the whip to once again showcase his undeniable talents.

 


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