After 901 minutes of Premier League football under Eddie Howe, Jack Wilshere created his first assist in Bournemouth colours.
Just six minutes after the referee’s whistle to signal kick-off at the Vitality Stadium, the 24-year-old midfielder delivered a teasing ball into the area, one which fellow loanee and defender Nathan Aké confidently dispatched from close range to break the deadlock.
Despite a 3-1 defeat at the hands of their south Coast rivals, it was a good individual display once more from Wilshere, who continues to mature in a holding midfield role under his current boss.
With 89 touches of the ball, a passing accuracy percentage of 83% and an impressive seven dribbles completed throughout the 90 minutes, it was clear to see the Englishman excel in the final third even when his team-mates struggled.
As illustrated by the player dashboard below, he was constantly involved in the attacking third of the pitch and unsurprisingly, constantly wanted the ball at his feet to showcase his ability in abundance.
In terms of pass combinations, he was constantly exchanging passes with midfield partner Harry Arter whilst also not being afraid to pass towards the path of Simon Francis at right-back. The experienced fullback made a number of defensive interventions throughout and crucially, wasn’t dispossessed at all – proving Wilshere’s faith in him as a viable passing option was ultimately justified.
Ryan Bertrand’s leveller after 13 minutes was a great finish just seconds after he weaved past Adam Smith too easily inside the box. Jay Rodriguez netted a brace. Both were strikes which showcased his individual quality. The first was a poacher’s finish to take advantage of a well-worked passing move, before his second was a fantastic effort on the edge of the area which arrowed into the top corner with aplomb.
Southampton took full advantage of their goal-scoring opportunities on the afternoon, and Bournemouth were punished for that. Wilshere’s performances continue to improve on a weekly basis and despite the defeat, it’ll give Jack a much-needed morale boost over the Christmas period with fixtures coming thick-and-fast in quick succession.
Stats’ credit: WhoScored and FourFourTwo