Wilshere breaks through
Jack Wilshere burst onto the scene at the Emirates during the 2010/11 season. The then-teenager delivered an astonishing performance in the Champions League up against the iconic midfield duo of Iniesta and Xavi. He played a vital part as Robin Van Persie cancelled out David Villa’s opener before Andrey Arshavin scored a dramatic late winner to defeat Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
He went on to make 49 appearances for the Gunners in all competition during the 2010/11 season. It appeared as if the young man was destined for stardom at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. However, the next season his injury nightmare began as an ankle stress fracture prevented the England midfielder from making any appearances. He subsequently missed Euro 2012.
Frequent injuries have prevented Wilshere from reaching his potential and in a desperate attempt to have an injury-free season he opted to go on loan to Bournemouth for the 2016/17 season. He managed 27 appearances for the Cherries but suffered a leg fracture at White Hart Lane in April. That prohibited him from playing any further part in the season.
Wilshere’s career highlights
- He rewrote Arsenal history at the age of 16 years and 256 days to become the Gunners’ youngest ever league debutant.
- Ten days after his first-team competitive debut, he scored his first goal in a 6-0 win against Sheffield United in the League Cup.
- He made his international debut for England on 11th August 2010 at the age of 18 years and 222 days.
- The 18-year-old Wilshere shone in Arsenal’s 2-1 win at the Emirates against Guardiola’s formidable Barcelona team in February 2011.
- He finally put pen to paper to commit his long term future to Arsenal in 2012.
- At the start of the 2013/14 season Wilshere rounded off an audacious one-touch Arsenal move against Norwich to score a goal which will be remembered for decades to come.
- He scored his first career brace in a 2-0 win against Marseille in November 2013 and became the quickest English goal scorer in Champions League history, clocking in at 29 seconds.
- In Arsenal’s 3-2 triumph over Hull City in the 2014 FA Cup Final, Wilshere came on as an extra-time substitute as Aaron Ramsey secured the Gunners’ first silverware since 2005.
- He clinched the goal of the year award for a second time after smashing in an unstoppable volley against West Brom in a 4-1 victory on the final day of the season.
- He appeared again as a substitute in the 2015 FA Cup Final as Arsenal beat Aston villa 4-0 to win the trophy for a second consecutive year.
A red future for Wilshere?
Arsenal have transitioned to a three at the back system. That reorganization leaves only two spaces in central midfield. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey currently fill those spots. Wilshere also faces competition from Mohammed Elneny, Francis Coquelin and also Santi Cazorla whenever the Spaniard returns from injury. However Wilshere has impressed during his two appearances so far this season. He proved to be Arsenal’s only bright spark with a man of the match performance in the League Cup against Doncaster Rovers.
It is apparent that Wilshere has a long way to go before earning a starting spot in Wenger’s Premier League side. However, the Europa League could present a perfect opportunity for him to remind everyone why he was once the country’s most promising player. Meanwhile, an inclusion in Arsenal’s match day squad in Monday night’s 2-0 victory over West Brom are encouraging signs that the 25-year-old midfielder could rejuvenate his career and have a future at Arsenal.
Wilshere is a fan favourite at Arsenal. Supporters admire his tenacious style of play mixed with accomplished ability. He has been described by Arsene Wenger as having “Spanish technique but an English heart.” Still just 25-years-old he has now returned to the Emirates where it all began. This will be the most important season of his career.
Fans will no doubt be willing Arsenal’s youngest ever league debutant to find a way back onto the pitch and into the Arsenal team.
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