According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was close to receiving a call-up to the England squad for the games against Slovenia and Lithuania.
The 25-year-old is currently out-of-favour in north London. In fact, Wilshere has failed to appear in a Premier League game this season for the Gunners. His only first-team appearances the midfielder has had this season were in the League Cup and Europa League.
England lacking creativity in midfield
England has a dearth of central midfielders. More importantly midfielders that can provide creativity from the centre of the park. When asked about Wilshere’s international future, England boss Gareth Southgate said: ‘We’re in a position where there’s no way we would dismiss any creative player. But people have to be playing and have to be playing at a good level.’
Gone are the days when England had the conundrum of playing Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard in the centre of midfield. Now the Three Lions are struggling to find many viable options in the centre of midfield.
The dearth of central midfield talent means Wilshere seems to have a genuine chance of making the Three Lions squad and is odds of 5/1 to make it to Russia 2018 with Southgate’s team.
Wilshere needs to start playing Premier League football
Jack Wilshere has been the perceived ‘saviour’ of English football since he was in his mid-teens. It seems not much has changed in the Three Lions set-up. Wilshere is out-of-favour at Arsenal and while Arsene Wenger rates Wilshere highly, that struggle may continue for a while longer.
Wilshere must be playing Premier League football on a regular basis for him to make a big impact for England. That means the midfielder avoiding injuries and breaking into the Gunners team on a regular basis.
If he were not in the team by January, maybe a move elsewhere would serve the midfielder’s career better. He did okay at Bournemouth on loan last season. He now needs that sort of continuous football to rediscover his best form.
The fact that Gareth Southgate is even considering selecting Wilshere at the moment shows just how short of quality central midfielders they really are. That situation will not improve anytime soon, so it is a very real possibility that Wilshere will pull on an England shirt this summer.
However, at the moment he would not be there on merit, more by default because of a lack of talent in that particular part of the pitch.
Should Jack Wilshere be in the England team?