Manchester City’s summer spending spree has been confined to three players. Three English players. For a combined fee of around £65m.
Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts have arrived at the club this summer, though perhaps only Sterling improves their first choice eleven straight away.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been linked with a move to the Manchester side, a switch that would improve the lacklustre midfield we bore witness to last year.
City’s quest for everything home grown certainly fits the Wilshere link. Though Juventus star Paul Pogba is THE centre midfielder to go out and get, Barcelona’s interest in the Frenchman is widely reported.
Should he leave the Old Lady, the Spanish giants are likely to be his next destination. For all City’s riches, they still trail behind the Blaugrana in terms of attracting players of that ilk. England star Wilshere may not be in the same class at ex-United man Pogba, but should a deal for him come to fruition, City would be getting a top class player.
Much has been made about his off the field antics, along with his injury record, but it is hard to doubt the Gunner’s class. He is an outrageously naturally gifted player, with an effortless control not often seen in English players.
His range of passing would inject a sense of guile into a midfield often found wanting. David Silva cannot do everything himself, and the marauding Yaya Toure looked less assured than even his cult-icon-like brother Kolo last year. His ability to produce long range passes to start a counter attack would suit new boy Raheem Sterling very well. Very well indeed.
Employed recently as a deep-lying playmaker for the national side, Wilshere has a wide set of abilities. Though his long passing is an undoubted strength, he possess the dribbling skills to surge further forward. The neat touches and flicks in his locker fly out of his feet when he is ghosting past oncoming defenders and creating space for team mates.
His recent Three Lions display against Slovakia showed what he can do further up the field. Sergio Aguero can look isolated at times, but the Arsenal man certainly has the quality to provide him with some top-class company.
Yaya Toure has been fantastic for the side since his arrival, but fallings out with the top bosses and a loss of form have dampened the aura surrounding the Ivory Coast international.
It seems likely he will stay another season, but should he not perform – Wilshere is the perfect replacement. He may not be as physically imposing as Toure, but offers a similar drive and energy.
Placed next to any one of Fernando, Fernandinhio or Fabian Delph, the Arsenal number 10 can excel. His defensive aptitude may be nothing to write home about at this stage in his career, but it is important to remember he is not yet 23-years-old.
That awareness will come, especially if he continues lining up at the base of a diamond for England, but only if he keeps the focus on football. Besides, you don’t pay a rumoured £40m for someone with the vision of Wilshere and keep him contained infront of the back four.
He often seems to be one-step ahead of the game, and combined with other quality players, can create moments of magic like the stunning team goal against Norwich two seasons ago.
The silky midfielder brings with him a tenacity you may not expect from such a gifted footballer. The all action approach is perfect for this aging City side.
Like him or not, Wilshere is a top class player. Any deal to bring him to Manchester is of course a gamble, but one with a huge pay off. Injury problems are difficult to plan for, but the man’s class is unquestionable.
The fact he is a home grown talent only makes him more appealing. Should he focus on football, he may one day be considered in the highest of regards.