Former Gunner Paul Merson has urged Jack Wilshere to move abroad in order to further his career.
Merson doesn’t believe that Jack’s going to develop any further at Arsenal.
“I don’t think Jack is a ten,” Merson told Sky Sports News. “I think he is a deeper player, but he is not playing deeper. You’d have to ask Arsene [Wenger] why that was.
“He [Southgate] has called up Jack Cork, who I like and think is a good player, but Jack Wilshere has got to move.
“It is alright Arsene Wenger saying a fit Jack Wilshere gets in the England team, but you have to play for Arsenal. But at the same time, [Jesse] Lingard has started less games than Wilshere.
“The way he plays, I think going abroad probably suits him and his game, otherwise he is going to go to a relegation-battling team, and that is not his game.
“He needs to get on the ball and play football and be in a team that really are going to have a lot more of the ball than not. So probably abroad to an AC Milan or somewhere like that.”
Wilshere has made eight appearances for Arsenal’s first team this season after returning from his second fibula fracture in August. Only two of these have been in the Premier League.
Contrary to what Merson says, Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard has made 16 appearances across all competitions this season. Therefore, not less than Jack. Although I do get the former Gunners’ point; Lingard isn’t exactly fighting fit but he’s still getting picked.
Jack has seven months left on his Arsenal contract and the 25-year-old claims he wants to stay. He’s been at the club since he was nine and I’m sure most Gooners would love to see him stay fit and get his fairy tale ending. But would staying be best for him as a player?
I do feel as if Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to play him is down to anxiety. The Frenchman probably wants to introduce him gradually and, to be fair, the boss has been increasingly giving him minutes in the league.
What’s more, Wenger also revealed recently that he sees Jack playing in a more advanced role, which is currently occupied by Mesut Ozil. Not as a deep-lying midfielder, as Merson reckons.
Maybe it would be easier to move to Italy and start again, as Merson suggests he should. But I think Jack likes a challenge.