Gareth Southgate is planning to leave Jack Wilshere out of his World Cup squad, when he announces the 23-man list next week, according to reports.

Thursday’s Daily Star claims the manager doesn’t feel like he can rely on Wilshere’s fitness this summer, so he won’t take the risk to bring the midfielder along. Reportedly the best the 26-year-old can hope for is a spot as one of the standby players.

It seems harsh on Wilshere to make the decision based on uncertainties around fitness, considering he hasn’t spent much time on the sidelines this season.

The England international started the campaign recovering from injury, but since then a slight knock to the ankle is the only injury that stopped him playing. Even then, he only missed a match Wenger would’ve rested him in anyway, for the more important Europa League games.

If I were Southgate, I’d have more concerns over the player’s form. He’s played plenty of minutes, but in recent weeks he’s struggled for consistency of performance.

Perhaps that’s the real reason why the manager is planning to leave him out. If it is, he should at least have the guts to say it, rather than hiding behind the ‘injuries’ excuse. That’s what he did every other time he left Wilshere out, and it’s starting to get old.

If he’s going to leave the midfielder out, he should at least tell him the honest reason why.