According to reports from Bleacher Report, Jack Wilshere could end up at Manchester City or Everton if he leaves Arsenal during the summer transfer window.
Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones is gaining a reputation for mixing analysis with insider knowledge and his latest column for the website centres around the uncertain future of Jack Wilshere. Once seen as the prodigal son capable of taking the Gunners to greatness, the midfielder is out of the England squad, has spent the season on loan at Bournemouth to regain his fitness and will return to the Emirates Stadium this summer with just a year left on his contract. The 25-year-old’s career is at a real crossroads.
Discussing what could be next for Wilshere, Jones covers a variety of potential scenarios, including crunch talks with the Arsenal manager to prolong his stay in north London and moving abroad following interest from Roma last summer. But he also claims the need for home-grown players could inspire a move to Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola seemingly a fan, and also warns readers ‘not to rule out Everton’.
Considering he’s not even made the starting XI in recent weeks, the obvious (and most accurate) answer is no. A few months ago, there appeared to be a consensus that all Wilshere had to do at Bournemouth was prove he could play thirty-odd Premier League fixtures in a single season and he’d be back at the heart of Arsenal and England’s midfields in enough time for everybody to forget he’d even been sent off to the Vitality Stadium, but his limited impact for Eddie Howe’s side is more than a little worrying.
Wilshere’s style has never exactly lent itself to statistics but he’s not stood out in the way you’d expect of a Champions League player taking the No.10 position in a mid-table side. 23 Premier League appearances this season have brought no goals and just two assists, whilst he’s averaged just 1.3 created chances per match. To give some comparison, Mesut Ozil has averaged 2.8 per match at Arsenal, and Gylfi Sigurdsson has averaged 2.1 for a relegation-threatened Swansea side who’ve scored six less Premier League goals than Bournemouth.
Once again, it’s hard to see how – although both clubs could make changes, whether forced or instigated, during the next transfer window. Wilshere’s influence this season pales in comparison to David Silva or Kevin De Bruyne’s at the Etihad Stadium, whilst Pep Guardiola is clearly a huge fan of the industrious Fernandinho and injured playmaker Ilkay Gundogan.
Likewise, Ronald Koeman has sought to revolutionise Everton’s midfield since arriving at Goodison Park last summer. He’s brought in Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin from Aston Villa and Manchester United respectively, whilst Tom Davies has been promoted from their second string and thoroughly excelled alongside the Toffees engine room’s real talent Ross Barkley.
Accordingly, it’s hard to imagine Wilshere claiming a slot in either midfield based on current form. We’re now too far down the line for the England man to be judged on past glories alone. One opportunity that could open up, however, is on Merseyside. Ross Barkley’s yet to extend his contract beyond the end of next season so if Everton are forced to sell, they may be open to the idea of signing Wilshere as a direct replacement.