We’re edging closer to that time of the year again when drama is inevitable, rumours are plucked out of thin air, and the back pages are needing to be filled. I’m of course referring to the January transfer window, and already, it’s beginning to take over my mind. Just the other day I spotted an article produced by Jamie Carragher regarding Jack Wilshere’s future, and it got me thinking, could the current Cherries loanee worm his way into our Southampton side?
Above: Jack Wilshere wearing the Mansion sponsored AFC Bournemouth shirt – Mansion are the owner’s of the online casino platform Casino.com
Wilshere is a player that in recent years, has without a doubt caused split opinion amongst football fans. There are those that will continue to defend him until the final day of his career, and on the flip side, there are also those that would implode at even the thought of complimenting one of his performances.
But to me, there is one aspect of Wilshere’s game that any football fan should be able to recognise; his technical qualities.
Be it as a number ten or as a central midfielder, Wilshere boasts the remarkable ability to perform inch-perfect through balls, drilled passes, and deft flicks as a means to unlock the oppositions defence. This has seen Wilshere become Bournemouth’s most creative player, and by some distance too, averaging 2.01 key chances created per 90.
Wilshere also possesses the close control and dribbling skills required to create space, which in turn allows him to make the all important passes mentioned before.
To tie all of these technical skills together, Wilshere has received an education in football under Arsene Wenger – as a midfielder, it really doesn’t get much better than that.
This has allowed him to become an extremely intelligent player when maintaining possession, and looking to break down the oppositions defence – you didn’t think that Wilshere’s tendency to find himself in game changing positions was a coincidence, did you?
So, having covered Wilshere’s greatest strengths, what exactly is it that Claude Puel is looking for in a central midfielder?
To tell the truth, he is looking for a player with qualities similar to that of Wilshere.
Since arriving at the club, Puel has placed great emphasis on his Southampton side being dominant in possession, and given Wilshere’s passing ability, he would have no trouble in carrying out that task.
In addition to this, Puel wants a midfielder with bite, grit and determination whilst out of possession, but this cannot be at the expense of positivity and flair. It seems that Wilshere fits the billing here too.
Since the start of the season, the Southampton midfield have shown inconsistencies in their ability to provide a positive approach to the the game; one week they are fluid and brave, but the next they are stagnant on the ball and fearful of mistakes. With an attack minded midfielder like Wilshere who is willing to take risks, maybe that issue could be put to an end?
Admittedly however, there are some widely known issues with the 24-year-old; his goal record is hardly threatening, his weekly wage is extortionate, and of course, there is the endless list of injuries.
Whilst Wilshere’s lack of goals wouldn’t be an issue if he’s playing as a central midfielder (rather than as a number 10), I simply cant look past the wage demands. The board of Southampton Football Club are known for their astute business, and if these demands were to be maintained until the end of the season, there is not a chance of us making a move. It’s as simple as that. As for the injuries, if Wilshere continues his current run of game-time in the Bournemouth side, then I would most certainly be interested.
All in all, I would love for Southampton Football Club to possess a player of Wilshere’s quality and potential, but given the undeniable risks and abuse of our business model that would come with the signing, I am forced into forgetting that this could ever happen.