Arsenal legend Ray Parlour believes Jack Wilshere is more than capable of nailing down a spot in the Gunners’ midfield, but insists that he needs to remain injury free, according to The Daily Mail.
The England international’s quality is rarely brought into question, but his injuries have stunted his growth significantly.
He has struggled this season once again, and hasn’t featured for the first team since November – when he was put out of action by a mistimed tackle from Manchester United’s Paddy McNair.
Despite his injury plagued career, Parlour still believes the 23-year-old is the future of our midfield. He doesn’t want to see him turn into another Abou Diaby however, and claims his injuries are holding him back.
“I think he’s the future of the club,” said Parlour.
“I think if he stays fit, he’s a quality player, there’s no doubt about that.
“The way he goes past players, the way he links up with people, I definitely think he’s got a big role to play.
“But again, the big question mark is can he stay fit? Look at Abou Diaby. Diaby’s a terrific player. But look at him, the injuries the last few years.
“The big burning question is can Wilshere have a full season without being injured for a long period, like he hasn’t had for the last three or four seasons.”
Wilshere may find it difficult to get his place in the team back when he returns, regardless of his ability to stay fit. The recent performances of the likes of Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, and Mesut Özil have all but cemented their places in the starting XI, and Wilshere will have a tough task displacing any of them.
It may be beneficial for the young midfielder to have a bit part role for a while, as he will be able to get some football under his belt without putting too much strain on his body.
Hopefully he can eventually realise his potential, as Gunners don’t come much more loyal than Jack Wilshere.