Paul Merson believes England are in desperate need of Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana’s creativity.

England secured qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 victory over Slovenia at Wembley.

For anyone who had the displeasure of watching the game, they would have seen a bland and uninspiring performance in my opinion. The team needed a late winner from Harry Kane to get the three points and wrap up qualification with a game to spare.

The squad was notably lacking in creative midfielders who may have been able to unlock a stubborn defence. For that reason, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Gareth Southgate must take Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana to the World Cup.

“I’m throwing a wildcard in with Wilshere,” Merson told Sky Sports, reports the Daily Star. “Things may change by the time the squad is officially announced, but this lad is one of few who can makes things happen in a football match.

“That’s something we were crying out for against Slovenia. He can put the ball through the eye of a needle in the tight matches we’ll encounter in Russia. Lallana, like Wilshere, is another player who can unpick tight defences, so he’s a shoe-in.”

Wilshere has recently made his return to first-team action and has looked sharp I’ve felt. His performance in the 4-2 victory over BATE Borisov demonstrated exactly the sort of creativity and intelligence the national team has been missing.

However, questions remain over the midfielder’s fitness and long-term prospects in the Arsenal first-team. He’s yet to make his return in the Premier League and faces plenty of competition.

If he is once again on Southgate’s radar for the World Cup, I feel he’ll need as much first-team football as he can get.