Martin Keown says the decision to send Jack Wilshere out on loan has backfired on Arsenal, following Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
The England international, who is on a season-long loan with Eddie Howe’s side, had to sit out the game at the Emirates which the Gunners won to end a run of three straight draws.
However, Arsene Wenger’s side were made to work hard for their three points with Callum Wilson equalising from the penalty spot before Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez made the points safe,
Speaking after the game to the BBC, Keown says he feels Arsenal are missing Jack Wilshere, particularly with Santi Cazorla out injured, and believes he is a better option than Granit Xhaka.
“To look at their team, to look at the compartments, you’d say their defence looks solid, you’d say the top three look pretty decent, the midfield is a concern, it’s a worry,” he told the BBC .
“It’s ironic that Jack Wilshere is sitting in the stand [against Bournemouth]. Maybe he would have been the answer this season but of course he’s on loan to Bournemouth.
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“It was a gamble [letting Wilshere go], I know why Jack went, he has to play football and get back playing. I just feel now if you’re not going to play [Granit] Xhaka there’s a massive hole in that Arsenal midfield when [Santi] Cazorla’s not there.
“The problem is Arsenal seem to have a group of number 10s. [Mesut] Ozil plays there, that’s him nailed on, and then after that [Aaron] Ramsey would want to play there, Jack would want to play there.
“I think Jack has played deeper for England and he could definitely do that for Arsenal. I see no reason why he’s not better than the guy who’s been brought in to replace him in Xhaka.”
Arsene Wenger’s decision to leave Xhaka out in recent weeks has left many Arsenal fans perplexed and it is no secret that the club are clearly missing the influence of Cazorla in midfield.