West Ham summer signing Jack Wilshere is nearing a return from his latest injury setback.
The midfielder, who joined West Ham in the summer having seen his Arsenal contract expire, was an early regular in Manuel Pellegrini’s teams, playing 90 minutes in each of the opening three matches.
The 26-year-old last featured for Pellegrini against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the start of September, but after feeling discomfort in his ankle during training, he underwent surgery yet again.
The former England regular has been sidelined on 14 occasions throughout his career, with this his eighth time out due to ankle problems. Altogether, the medical room regular’s injuries have kept him out of 163 games so far, with another three likely to be added before he can return on November 3rd for the visit of Burnley to the London Stadium – according to Premier Injuries‘ expected return date.
When Wilshere was let go by Arsenal as Unai Emery came in with little confidence in the former youth sensation’s fitness, Pellegrini showed incredible faith in the central midfielder by insisting West Ham signed him to a three-year deal when the club preferred an initial 12 month contract.
Early signs showed the Chilean would give the creative player his backing by selecting him in each of the opening four league matches despite going on to lose each one.
Once back fit, Wilshere is likely to be brought back into the line-up providing he displays enough in training to warrant an immediate return. If selected, his performances will need to improve on what he has shown so far in order to regularly displace Pedro Obiang or Mark Noble.
When Wilshere was announced as undergoing yet another operation to solve his latest injury, some claimed it was an early sign that Emery got it right in not renewing the academy graduate’s contract.
His performances in the claret and blue of the East London side up to the injury did not do much to defend the Stevenage born midfielder’s case, either, as he had failed to register a goal or an assist in his four matches.
Creating chances is what brought Wilshere to the front of Arsenal’s midfield order and that is what he needs to do at West Ham. Not only that, the way Gareth Southgate sets up his England side will require the World Cup absentee to continue building a more defensive aspect into his game if he desires an international return.