In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former West Brom midfielder Carlton Palmer has claimed that a current free-agent could do a job for the Midlands outfit as they battle to stave off relegation.
Jack Wilshere is still currently without a club after he had his £100k-per-week West Ham contract ripped up back in October.
The 29-year-old managed to play just 19 matches over the course of two years due to persistent injury troubles, and this ultimately forced David Moyes’ hand with the player on such high wages.
Although Wilshere has told The Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter that he is fit and raring to go.
In a bid to maintain that, the Englishman is training with Championship outfit AFC Bournemouth, where he spent the 2016/17 season on loan at from Arsenal.
He has been linked to moves to the MLS and A-League.
And Palmer believes the box-to-box maestro is worth the gamble if the Baggies can secure him on a play-as-you-play contract…
He told FFC:
“Jack Wilshere is a talented, talented player, and we’ll be saying that when Wilshere is retired. But he’s too injury prone.
“I’m sure he could still make a contribution in the Premier League, but not on a full-time contract. You need players who will play regularly and Wilshere’s history shows that he’s not going to play football games and he’s going to break down.
“But you never know, there are clubs out there like West Brom at the moment. He could go in there and he’d do a job for Sam.
“Sam is known for taking gambles on players as he did with Andy Carroll at Newcastle.”
Indeed, it would be quite the risk for Big Sam to make but right now, desperate times call for desperate measures. On his day, Wilshere is a cut above that of either Romaine Sawyers or skipper Jake Livermore.
Despite all of his injury problems, the 29-year-old has still played 182 times in the Premier League and 40 times in both European competitions, via Transfermarkt, which is some experience that Albion lack in abundance right now.
It was only a few years ago that Pep Guardiola was waxing lyrical about Wilshere’s ability, he said:
“He’s lucky to play regularly for one season and he is going to be back to being one of the best midfield players in England by far. He’s quality, he’s smart and has the quality on the ball.
“He has a special quality with the ball, dribbling as a holding midfielder to attack central defenders – it’s not easy to do that.”
For the right price, this could well be a shrewd move to make this January, and let’s face it, the 66-year-old isn’t going to be rolling in riches this month.