Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has criticised West Ham for signing Jack Wilshere in the summer, in comments made to The Times.
West Ham embarked on a hefty spending spree in the summer transfer window as Manuel Pellegrini splashed over £100m on new additions but he also secured a number of free transfers, including landing Ryan Fredericks and Jack Wilshere.
The latter arrived from London rivals Arsenal following the expiration of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and featured in the Hammers’ opening four games of the season, all of which ended in defeat, before suffering the latest in a long line of injury setbacks.
In his absence, West Ham have found their feet after beating Everton and holding Chelsea to a draw to end the Blues’ 100% record in the Premier League and Tony Cascarino has suggested to The Times that Pellegrini’s side look better without Wilshere.
“I was surprised when West Ham signed Jack Wilshere. His injury record is so poor, and even though he was on a free transfer I would be surprised if many other clubs were in for him.
“It seemed to be a vanity signing and I can’t believe they gave him a three-year deal. The most damning thing about Wilshere is that West Ham have looked better since his injury forced him out of the team.
“With a midfield three of Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Pedro Obiang they look more balanced and, crucially, have the energy and fitness that Wilshere doesn’t have. He’s got excellent technical ability but he looks increasingly unsuited to the modern-day game.”
Cascarino’s comments may seem harsh but he makes a number of key points, the first of which is the three-year deal that the Hammers handed to Wilshere despite his injury record – which is something that could come back to haunt them.
However, Wilshere did show progress last year at Arsenal by making 20 Premier League appearances and a further 13 in the Europa League, while his previous campaign on loan with Bournemouth saw him feature in 27 Premier League appearances for the Cherries.
It all depends on whether Wilshere can remain fit at West Ham and his early season injury is a major blow. However, it is too soon to say whether signing the England international was a mistake as he could still become a vital asset for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.