It’s been a rocky few years for Jack Wilshere to say the least, but the upcoming season is certainly make or break for the former England international.
The 26-year-old midfielder joined West Ham United on a free from fellow London rivals Arsenal last summer in a move that looked to have possibly revitalised his career.
Over his 11-year career, he has made just 131 appearances, including loan spells at Bolton (2010) and fellow Premier League club Bournemouth (16/17). This averages out at just over thirteen appearances per season in that time frame.
Despite this low appearance count, he has a number of accolades including two Fa Cup wins and a Community Shield.
He is without doubt one of the most versatile players in the West Ham line up and can play as an attacking midfielder, winger and even a deep-lying midfielder. Former Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger described him as having “Spanish technique, but an English heart.”
However, he was struck once again by injury last season playing just four games for the Irons as they finished 11th five points off of Wolves who finished in seventh.
He has now made crucial steps towards recovery and took part in the club’s preseason games against Manchester City and Fulham, where he has shone on the field with Manuel Pellegrini looking to play the midfielder in a much deeper position.
Against Championship side Fulham, he played alongside Manuel Lanzini and went forward at every opportunity, attacking the ball and spreading it out wide and down the middle, his link-up play with both Pablo Fornals and Lanzini on either wing was exceptional providing pinpoint passes with every touch.
So it is with no doubt that his quality is there.
Wilshere certainly has the factor to change games, that was seen at his former club as previously mentioned injury has been his downfall though.
The upcoming season then in my eyes is perhaps the most important, the most crucial season in his career.
With Spanish youngster Fornals linking up with the Irons following his move from La Liga club Villarreal over the summer, it looks certain that Wilshere will have to fight for his place in the West Ham starting line up with the likes of Declan Rice, Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini.
Expectations were set high for the England international at the start of last season as he looked to be a bargain of a signing, but most of his career has been reduced through recurring injuries.
It is very much clear that Wilshere will be in Pellegrini’s plans for the 19/20 season as West Ham look to push for a Europa League spot and even better some form of silverware.