The rumours regarding Jack Wilshere facing an extended amount of time on the sidelines has raised the question as to how much Arsenal will actually miss him.
The England international has been ‘full of promise’ for some time now but is still yet to deliver match-winning performances on a regular basis.
But with the Gunners missing plenty of bite in midfield and the current odds on the Unibet >mobile betting app showing Arsenal to be in for a rocky road in the fight for a top four finish, any extended absence is surely a bad thing, right?
Arsenal rejected claims this week that Wilshere would be out until April after undergoing another operation on his troublesome ankle. He is instead expected back in February, a period of the season where everything tends to go wrong for the Gunners.
With that in mind, could the 22-year-old’s return prevent the usual end of season capitulation? That would go a long way to repairing his damaged reputation amongst the fans, who, much like with Arsene Wenger, have started to lose a bit of faith in the one-time prodigal son.
Cast your mind back to the 2010-11 campaign when Wilshere was voted Arsenal’s player of the season. It seemed like the Gunners had discovered their answer to Barcelona’s Xavi, such was the excitement surrounding Wilshere. It is perhaps tough to remember how exciting it was watching Wilshere then given how much time has passed, and how many mediocre performances he has produced since.
No doubt injuries have hampered his progress but there comes a point when that stops being an excuse for not performing. Perhaps it is time we Arsenal fans accepted that Wilshere will always be just a good player, rather than a great.
So, getting back to the question set at the top of this article, how much will Arsenal miss Wilshere, the answer has to be not as much as we all thought they would.