Arsenal: Can Jack Wilshere Forge A 2017 First XI Place?

Is Freddie Ljungberg correct in stating that Jack Wilshere would be in the Arsenal first team next season if he plays every week with Bournemouth?

In an eventful final week of the transfer window, Arsenal signed Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez before letting Serge Gnabry leave on a permanent deal, while also loaning out Calum Chambers and – most surprisingly – Jack Wilshere for the season to Middlesborough and Bournemouth respectively.

It was an active close to a summer that was mired by criticism of inactivity during the previous couple of months, but the headlining departure was clearly that of Wilshere’s. The 24-year-old has been hailed as the future of the club for many years and after finally recovering from yet another year long injury, it was hoped that this year could, like seemingly every other year, be the one that sees Wilshere rise to the level that was expected of him after such a magnificent breakthrough season in the first team five years ago.

The tailing off of his career has led to this loan move and questions abound about whether he can ever regain his status Arsenal’s golden boy once again. One man who certainly believes that Wilshere can reclaim his best form and return to the Emirates as a regular starter come 2017 is legend Freddie Ljungberg, who, when questioned on the loan move, stated:

“I don’t know the ins and outs of the deal but everyone knows Jack is an amazing talent. I love him but if he could play 38 games for Bournemouth then he’d be back here playing and starting again. I just think he’s had bad luck. He’d play well for six, seven games then he gets injured again and it’s a vicious circle. If he can play 38 games then he’ll be back and starting again.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Ljungberg’s assessment of Wilshere’s ability. He is an extremely talented player, and while he has not been able to show such talent other than in fits and starts since his first season with the first team squad, with regular football, uninterrupted by injury, then he can resurrect his dwindling career prospects.

Where I have to take issue, though, is in the conditional clause. Whether Wilshere can stay fit or not is a question that has hung over his young career, and if history is to teach us anything, then his body simply cannot be trusted to handle the physical demands of a full league season.

I would love to write that Wilshere’s move to Bournemouth will definitely be the turning point in his career, and he comes back to London in 2017 refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to resume his role as one of Arsenal’s key members, but I simply cannot believe that he will stay fit, and the age old problems of injuries is one that Wilshere will find very difficult to overcome this coming year.

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