Martin Keown claims Jack Wilshere should refuse to play for England this summer, even if he’s fully fit and picked by Roy Hodgson, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Wilshere is currently on the injury table, but is on track for a return before the end of the season. Keown believes the 24-year-old should be focusing on his club career over international glory, and should be working on returning fully fit next season rather than looking to play in the Euro 2016 Championships.
“I was lucky enough to be at the Slovenia game when Jack scored two goals – he was outstanding on that day. He ran the midfield, and Roy will be mindful of that,” he wrote.
“However, Jack must be concerned that Arsenal have waited a long time for him to be fit, and a premature return to action could impact his next season at the club. He himself will need to consider whether he should go.
“A footballer’s career is short. It’s only natural that Jack will want to light up the few tournaments he gets to – and he is more than capable of doing that.
“When he last came back from injury, he looked very sharp very quickly, but when is it too late to make his return?
“He can play anywhere in the midfield and he always wants the ball. Jack can do everything – he can drive past players and also pick out team-mates from deep. This is what Roy wants, though he’ll certainly be looking at alternatives.
“At times, Jack needs protecting from himself and may need to think about his long-term career this summer.”
If there’s any chance that Wilshere could aggravate his injury over the summer then he really should think carefully about his involvement, and with the options currently available to Hodgson he does seem likely to get a call-up if fit.
Wilshere has struggled to remain fit for an entire season, and has barely featured over the last few years. He’s fiercely patriotic, but he needs to put his Arsenal career ahead of his country.
The academy graduate has shown so much promise throughout his career, but if he continues in the same trend he’s never going to realise his potential. He’s been almost as bad as Abou Diaby over the last couple of seasons, and we can’t continue carrying passengers who spend most of their time on the sidelines – no matter how talented they are.
While Arsene Wenger is in charge it’s hard to see Wilshere getting the heave-ho, but a new manager may not put up with his injuries so readily.
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It would be a real shame to see Wilshere fail – and eventually leave the club – but if he were to put his England career ahead of Arsenal then that would say a lot.