Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is no stranger to injury. Over the course of an average season, the Englishman seems to spend more time in the infirmary than on the pitch; and despite being almost universally acclaimed as one of England’s brightest talents, he gets very little playing time to actually showcase them. Similar is the case this season, Wilshere picked up an injury while training for the Community Shield game and he has not featured for the Gunners so far.
Despite his appearances being so few and far between, Wilshere has won himself a host of admirers, especially among the former players of the game. One such player is Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi, who believes that Wilshere is so talented he will help both Arsenal and England to glory (via the Daily Mail). Speaking to Sport, the two time Euro winner revealed that he was highly impressed by Wilshere’s play when Arsenal hosted Barcelona in the Champions League back in 2011. Xavi also took a cheeky dig at the Premier League, appearing surprised that the ‘physical League’ had produced a passing player.
He said, “He [Wilshere] played a fantastic game against us [in 2011]. Let’s not forget he was just 20 or 21 years old. It’s just a shame he got injured so many times over the past two years.
“If he gets going and a bit of continuity as well, he may make the difference for both Arsenal and the English national team. He is a different kind of English player.
“Even though he has been nourished in a physical type of football, he is really talented, gifted for passing and he does not give the ball away. He does not seem to be English!”
Wilshere is certainly an extremely gifted player; the number of caps he has won at such a young age reveal the faith that his managers have in him. However, to truly take his career to the next level, he needs to focus heavily on his fitness. It is simply unacceptable that a player of that quality is so ridiculously injury-prone. Currently, he is expected to return to training around Christmas, however that date has been delayed twice already; and what once seemed to be a simple hairline fracture has developed into an injury that required surgery. Let’s hope that Wilshere hasn’t inherited the Arsenal curse (the one that Diaby carried) and that he returns to action on schedule.