For years now Jack Wilshere has been hailed as the ‘future of England’ , having shown to possess such unique technical ability, mimicking those seen in the infamous Barcelona camp. While there has long been support for the player and his abilities – even from World Class players such as Xavi and Bastian Schweinsteiger – criticism is never far from the 24-year-old; with the term ‘overrated’ being widely used to describe him. Whether or not the criticisms are just, it is undeniable that Wilshere does possess something unique, but due to unknown circumstances, that unique talent has not fully come to fruition yet.
His transfer did not come as a surprise and it was only a matter of time before something was done. Arsene Wenger clearly showed concern to find reinforcements for that defensive midfielder position – bringing in Mohammed Eleny and more recently Granit Xhaka – perhaps with the thought that Wilshere was not up to scratch. In fairness to Wenger however, Wilshere had made just 10 starts from the last two seasons, with injuries hampering his career. Even his recent call-up to England’s Euro 2016 squad was deemed as a surprise, given his lack of playing time. However Roy Hodgson’s faith in Wilshere was not repaid, following some lacklustre performances. Clearly he had lost his drive.
The transfer however, should not be seen as a sign of Wenger’s disbelief in him. In fact it’s the complete opposite. Wenger wants to give Wilshere an opportunity to get him back to reaching his potential.
At a club like Bournemouth, Wilshere will relish being the centre of the team. As a player who likes to receive the ball deep and drive forward, Wilshere will be pivotal to Bournemouth’s play style; passing along the ground and playing balls through. With a team consisting with a lot of forwards with pace, he will have a lot of good players to play off of, as threading key passes is a big part of his offensive game. Because of this, he is guaranteed a starting spot on Eddie Howe’s team sheet – given that he does not get injured of course.
Whether or not Bournemouth will be in a relegation battle this season, Wilshere will have to learn the values of being in a smaller team. Given his calibre and credentials, players in his team will be looking to him to carry the team forward during difficult times; a responsibility he did not necessarily had to carry on his shoulders himself at Arsenal. Having to fight your way to a win without having the talented players he is so used to at Arsenal will be a vital lesson to learn, as well as learning to deal with and bouncing back from back-to-back defeats. A solid mental state is a big part to being a footballer after all. Still only being the age of 24, he has yet a lot to learn.
Jamie Redknapp was right in saying when speaking on SkySports that Wilshere will playing for Bournemouth will “elevate the team” and that he is “exactly what they need” and seemingly it can be applied the other way too; Wilshere will need Bournemouth this season and the opportunity to play for them can help him elevate his game back to where it once was.