Manchester United had Ryan Giggs, Liverpool had Steven Gerrard, and Arsenal had Jack Wilshere.
Things, however, haven’t been rosy for the 24-year-old England International of late, currently on a season-long loan at AFC Bournemouth. Let’s examine the pros and cons of this loan move.
The competition for midfield places in Arsenal these days is fierce, with Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Santiago Cazorla and Mesut Ozil competing for three midfield positions.
Due to the huge transfer figures involved in their purchases, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil are almost guaranteed to start every game. Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are always picked when fit.
The best way for Jack to force himself into the manager’s reckoning at this time is to go somewhere and show what he can contribute on a weekly basis.
In Jack’s breakthrough season of 2010/2011, Arsenal still operating under austerity measures, and he and Cesc Fabregas were the undoubted stars of the midfield.
A number of more glamorous names have been brought to the Emirates in that time, and he has gone from golden boy to rotation option, a move that may have dented his confidence.
With respect to the likes of Harry Arter and Max Gradel, Jack Wilshere is the biggest name on the Cherries roster this year and should regain his confidence as the team will likely be built around him.
Different Medical Team
It’s the worst kept secret in English football that Arsenal has had the worst injury list of any team in recent times. Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby, Robin Van Persie, Jack Wilshere etc. Arsenal players for some reason yet to be explained, spend a lot of time in the treatment room.
By moving to a different club, in the same league, we will finally know if it’s Jack Wilshere’s body that is too fragile for the rigours Premier League, or if it’s the training and fitness methods at Arsenal that is causing the England International to miss chunks of football every season.
Arsene Wenger is the sort of manager that has endless patience with his players. The Arsenal manager mostly only allows senior players to go on loan when they are surplus to requirements.
The likes of Lucas Podolski, Joel Campbell, and Maraoune Chamakh have shown that it’s almost impossible to work your way back in as a senior player at Arsenal once you’ve been out on loan.
Some National team managers will select players based on their minutes on the field, while some managers will select players based on the stature of the club they represent regardless of game time.
Many are of the opinion that Jack Wilshere only made the Euro 2016 team list because he was an Arsenal player.
Under Sam Allardyce, Jack might find caps hard to come by for the next 12 months.
His chances of being called up by the new manager may have been better served if he had stayed at the Emirates to fight his way into the first XI and keep the Arsenal badge on his chest.
Make or Break
If for some reason, a fit Jack Wilshere finds himself on the bench at the Vitality stadium, the damage to his reputation might be irreparable.
Should he fail to make an impression during this loan spell, it might signal the end of his Arsenal career.
It will be difficult to explain how a player who should be a mainstay in the Three Lions and the Gunners for years to come fails to set himself apart at one of the league’s lesser teams.