West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, in quotes reported by Football.London, that midfielder Jack Wilshere is expected to be back on the training pitch next week.
If he is fit to play before the end of the season it gives the Chilean a big dilemma.
Despite his injury issues in the past few years, there was a lot of buzz and excitement when the Irons brought the England international to the London Stadium last summer following his release by Arsenal.
There is no doubt over the 27-year-old’s talent when he is 100% fit and on the football pitch, but unfortunately his injury curse struck again just weeks into his Hammers career when he injured his ankle against Wolves on September 1.
A brief appearance against Newcastle United in December then resulted in him undergoing surgery on the issue, and in his absence the likes of Declan Rice, Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass have thrived for the east London outfit.
Asked on Thursday if there was any update on him Pellegrini said, as per Football.London: “Not for the moment.
“We are going to give him the time to recover 100 per cent. Maybe next week he will start doing some work on the pitch but we must be calm with him, he needs to recover 100 per cent.”
If, and it might well be a big if, Wilshere is fit to feature before the end of the season, then it gives the former Manchester City boss a real conundrum.
Reliable insider @ExWHUemployee has already suggested on Episode 125 of ‘The West Ham Way’ podcast that the club are considering terminating the midfielder’s three-year contract in the summer, while on current form there is no reason to break up the partnership between Rice and Noble in the middle of the park.
In all honesty, rather than give him the time he needs and continuing to be patient, West Ham should go ahead and cut their losses – whether that means terminating his contract or selling him – meaning he shouldn’t wear the claret and blue before the campaign’s climax, even if available. Pellegrini may as well focus on the options that have served him so well this season, as well as the reintegration of Manuel Lanzini.