Jack Wilshere could still be the king if he moves to Palace but there was a time when he was tipped for the other red and blue – Barcelona

THE great Xavi once claimed that Jack Wilshere was good enough to wear red and blue.

Safe to say he never thought for a moment that it would be the colours of Crystal Palace — not Barcelona.

Palace, along with Watford and Bournemouth, all made contact with the Wilshere clan yesterday.

It has come to this because Wilshere has slipped so far down the pecking order at Arsenal that he is now SIXTH-choice central midfielder.

Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin are all ahead of him at the Emirates.

At Selhurst Park he will be comfortably first pick ahead of Joe Ledley and James McArthur.

Wilshere’s phone was ringing off the hook yesterday after Arsenal told the talented star he could leave on loan.

But for a player once feted as the future of English football, it must hurt to know Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is so willing to let him go  — even on a temporary basis.

Wenger had earmarked Wilshere, 24, for greatness after handing him his debut as a teenager.

But his injury troubles and  off-field antics, including regularly being  photographed smoking and partying in Las Vegas, have increasingly  concerned the Frenchman.

Wilshere’s make-and-break seasons


REPLACES Robin van Persie at Blackburn in September aged 16 years and 256 days to become Arsenal’s youngest league debutant.

Ten days later the promising young midfielder nets his first Gunners goal in a 6-0 demolition of Sheffield United in the Carling Cup at the Emirates.

November sees him make his Champions League bow before turning pro in January.

The deal is quickly extended at the end of the season.



HE IS still being used sparingly by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger despite enjoying an outstanding pre-season.

The playmaker earns rave reviews for his Emirates Cup performances. He scores twice in a 3-0 win over Rangers in the tournament.

January sees him loaned out to Bolton for a better chance ofPremier League games. Heexcels for the Trotters, whotry unsuccessfully to borrow him againthe following season.

GAMES: 21 (Arsenal 7, Bolton 14)


THE breakthrough season that sees him become England’s tenth youngest-ever fullinternational.

He came on as a substitute for skipper Steven Gerrard in the 83rd minute of a 2-1 friendly win over Hungary.

Three Lions boss Fabio Capello describes him as “the future”. Ends the season as the PFA Young Player of the Year, but Pep Guardiola, though,claims he would only make Barcelona’s reserves.

GAMES: (Arsenal 49, England 5)


FIRST injury setback season for the midfielder.

He suffers a stress fracture to an ankle in pre-season, with his boss Wenger initiallypredicting a mid-season return to action.

The Gunners boss said: “The news we have for Jack is very positive. I count maybe mid-February for Jack.”

Deadlines came and went, however, and he does not play a single game, missing the Euro 2012 finals as a result.


There was also his foul-mouthed goading of  Tottenham fans at an Arsenal FA Cup parade and being caught up in a bust-up outside a nightclub.

Now a move to Selhurst Park has  emerged as a serious option for Wilshere. He wants games, and they will be guaranteed for him at Palace.

Alan Pardew is without a creator after Yohan Cabaye pulled out of the France squad with a knee injury.

Despite interest from abroad — AC Milan, Juventus and Roma have all emerged as potential options — Wilshere’s  preference is to stay in London because of his young children.

West Ham, the club  Wilshere and his dad Andy support, would fit  the bill, but they are nervous about another injury-plagued player.

David Gold and David Sullivan are getting it  in the neck at the moment after two defeats in the Premier League and an embarrassing Europa League exit.


Done deal

Arsenal finally complete the £35m signing of World Cup winning defender Shkodran Mustafi


Jack Wilshere poised for AC Milan move as Serie A giants table huge package to tempt wantaway Arsenal star


Arsene Wenger confirms £17m Lucas Perez swoop – with Shkrodan Mustafi expected to follow


Arsenal are looking for new recruits to their scouting team… to help Arsene Wenger make signings

With Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Aaron Creswell all injured, the last thing they need is to sign another crock.

Palace it is, then. It is there that he could revive his career, creating time and space for himself in the centre of Pardew’s midfield.

Fully fit, Wilshere will be hard to live with.

Everybody knows what a talent he is with that magic wand of a left foot. Angled ball, lob wedge, reverse pass . . . Wilshere’s got the lot in the locker.

Xavi suggested he could slide into the  Barcelona team after Wilshere ran the show in  a Champions League clash against them at the Emirates in 2011.

The  former Barca star claimed: “If he had the career that had been injury-free we would already be talking about him as one of the top central midfield players in Europe. With all due respect, he does not play the English way.”

He is a cultured footballer, but injuries and  off-the-field issues have disrupted his career.

Back in 2008, his career was shaping up to be something very different when he scored a wonder goal against West Ham’s reserves at the age of 16.

It was textbook stuff. He is not on the same page as Arsenal anymore, with his career book-ended by a series of injuries.

It has held him back to such an extent that he played twice as many games for his country last season as he did for his club.

In total, he played only 141 minutes for the Gunners  last season.

Getting games for England players is becoming a serious issue for new boss Sam Allardyce.

Joe Hart, who lost his place at Manchester City, will be rusty when he faces Slovakia in Sunday’s opening World Cup qualifier.

Daniel Sturridge’s face does not fit at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp after being sent on with a minute or so left of their clash with Tottenham at the weekend.

Then there is Phil Jones, a man once tipped by Sir Alex  Ferguson to emulate the achievements of the great Duncan Edwards at Manchester United.

Injuries have disrupted his career to such an extent  he is not getting a look in under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Same goes for Wilshere, who was told by Allardyce that he is not in the Three Lions squad  because he has lost his place at Arsenal.

He appeared for 17 minutes as a sub in the 0-0 draw at Leicester and came on for the last 20 minutes in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Watford.

It is not enough for him, not at this stage of his career. His last significant appearance for England was in Slovenia during a Euro 2016 qualifier under Roy Hodgson.

He scored two beauties that day, convincing Hodgson to build a team around him.

It did not work out that way because he was sidelined for most of the season with a broken leg.

He has recovered now, putting in the extra miles on the training pitches to try to prove his fitness.

If anyone deserves his big break, it is Wilshere.

    Source: Read Full Article