Gareth Southgate is reportedly giving serious consideration to calling up Jack Wilshere for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Despite Wilshere not having played for England since November, the Sportsmail claim that Southgate is seriously considering calling up the midfielder in order to help out the Three Lions’ issue when it comes to creativity.
“We’re in a position where there’s no way we would dismiss any creative player,” said the England coach. “But people have to be playing and have to be playing at a good level.”
Despite Southgate’s side qualifying after they beat Slovenia 1-0 on Thursday evening, having 17 shots (five on target) to their opponents’ five (one on target), playing both Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier as holding midfielders has hampered England’s creativity in this area. More than once, the Three Lions looked devoid of ideas and adding Wilshere to the starting line-up could really give them that cutting edge.
“He has that kind of confidence and arrogance on the ball which is what we have been crying out for in this country,” Frank Lampard wrote in his column for the Evening Standard at the end of September.
“I have played with him for England and against him at Chelsea. He is sharp off the mark, twists and turns. He is a natural footballer who could make England’s World Cup squad next summer if he plays enough.
“He is playing a bit of catch-up, but there are not many midfielders like him that can get the England team playing like he does.”
The 25-year-old has only made three appearances for Arsenal’s senior team this season after returning from another hairline fracture to his fibula, which he picked up while on loan at Bournemouth last term.
Despite Arsene Wenger not yet picking the Englishman for his Premier League starting XI just yet, Wilshere’s impressed during his relatively brief time on the pitch, so it’s understandable that Southgate could be looking to call him up next year if he’s fit.
Wilshere made his England debut in August 2010 and has since gone on to make 34 appearances and scored twice. If he hadn’t gotten injured, he would be walking into that starting line-up no problem.