Don’t get me wrong, I like Jack Wilshere as much as the next person. I recognize his talent and I think he’ll go on to be an Arsenal and England legend, whilst enjoying a long and prestigious career. I admire his tenacious attitude, his ability to take a beating and get back up, all whilst playing football ‘the Arsenal way’. That’s to say, slick, quick passing into dangerous areas with the view to providing opportunities for the Gunners strikers.
But, at 21-years-old, I don’t believe he’s quite yet ready to be leading this Arsenal midfield. Yet that seems to be exactly the role Arsene has given him.
Santi Cazorla is an attacking midfielder who can be devastating on his day. But, he does have quiet patches. Mikel Arteta is expected to play the holding role and break up play. It’s Wilshere who has more of a free roaming approach and is expected to take the big hits in Arsenal’s midfield, and control most of the play.
In a couple of years, this will be his natural role. At the moment however, there’s something missing from his game and I’d say this is affecting Arsenal in a noticeable way.
First of all, Jack doesn’t provide any meaningful goal threat. Yes, he loves to bomb forward, but his shot-accuracy isn’t quite there yet. He seems to recognize this and for that reason, usually tries to run through a defense until he is inevitably fouled. It’s rare you see Jack take a shot from distance.
Santi Cazorla on the other hand, loves to try his luck and usually finds his shots sailing way over the cross-bar. I think it’s fair to say that the right balance hasn’t been found in the Arsenal midfield just yet.
All this makes Arsene Wenger’s comments about Cesc Fabregas all the more intriguing. I view Cesc as the complete midfielder. Great on the ball, great moving the ball about and confident in front of goal. He could even stick his foot in when necessary. His sale from Arsenal to Barcelona was necessary, but it’s also left the Gunners struggling to replace his quality.
Wenger recently told the Press: “Fabregas really loves Arsenal and that’s why I think he will come back one day. He’s a real Arsenal man. He watches every Arsenal game and I’m convinced he will come back.”
How Arsenal could use a player of his quality as this moment in time. Of course, Cesc won’t be returning any time soon. When pushed for a time line, Wenger said: “Not in the next two or three years, but maybe later.” (Source: The Express).
So there’s the rub. Arsenal need a player of his quality, can’t afford to buy one and can’t tempt Cesc back in the near future.
Let’s just hope that Arsenal are still a club capable of challenging for trophies when and if Cesc does look for a move away from Barcelona.
What’s your take? Would you take Cesc Fabregas back at Arsenal?
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