With Aaron Ramsey set to be sidelined for at least another two weeks with his third hamstring injury of the season, the Gunners need someone to step up in the central midfield role. Coinciding with the disappointing injury news about Ramsey, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday that fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere has returned to normal training with his teammates after more than two months out because of an ankle injury.
Wilshere, who was in fine form prior to the injury suffered against Manchester United back in November, will still need time on the training pitch to once again get used to the speed of the game.
On the subject of the 23-year-old maestro, Wenger stated, “(Jack’s) motivated and focused to come back as quickly as possible. He worked very hard but he has still been out for (more than two) months and what he needs now is to get back. Competition gives you that sharpness that training cannot give you because it’s about a combination of fitness and decision-making – and speed of decision-making. It takes a while to get that back.”
While Wilshere won’t feature in Sunday’s FA Cup match against Middlesbrough, his return in the near future will surely make Gooners happy. Despite the fact that the Englishman doesn’t score as many goals as Ramsey does for the Gunners, Wilshere is equally as important to his team.
Wilshere’s dribbling, passing, tenacity, and defensive contribution are all outstanding. Although he does receive criticism for his persistent play, some may even say recklessness, there is no doubting Wilshere’s technical abilities. The midfielder endured a stretch of play last fall (before his injury) which included a Man of the Match performance against Manchester City, where he scored a superb goal and set up another during the massive match at the Emirates.
The Englishman also performed well in a string of games for his country, as he helped guide England to six consecutive victories, including three matches in which Wilshere was in the running for Man of the Match.
Not only will the return of Wilshere help ease the pain of Ramsey’s departure, but fellow Arsenal midfielders Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also suffering injuries as well. With the injured duo still not back in regular training, and now Ramsey out, Wilshere will have to step up in the role next to defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin.
While not the most dynamic offensive central midfield tandem, a partnership of Coquelin and Wilshere in the middle of the pitch seems like a very formidable and imposing duo for the Gunners. The somewhat controversial but talented Wilshere could be set to feature for Arsenal either February 21st against Crystal Palace, or four days later in a Champions League matchup with Monaco.
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