2015 has seen Francis Coquelin emerge as Arsenal’s new defensive midfielder, a breakthrough which may make Wenger hesitate on purchasing a new midfielder during the transfer window. With the possibility of Flamini leaving this summer, maybe Jack Wilshere could play a deeper role as well?
Ever since Steven Gerrard retired from international football, Wilshere has taken over his position as the defensive midfielder/deep-lying playmaker. Displaying four Man of the Match performances in a row for the Three Lions, serious questions have been asked as to whether he could do the same for Arsenal.
Jack Wilshere has all the attributes to be a good defensive midfielder/deep-lying playmaker. Wilshere has developed a reputation as being a tough tackling midfielder keen on retrieving the ball. He has the passion, aggression, passing ability and footballing intelligence. Still a young player, these are traits that can grow even more over time.
With similar passing attributes to the likes of Xabi Alonso and Andrea Pirlo, Wilshere shows no reason why he cannot grow into that role if he’s given the opportunity to prove himself. If you take a look at some of the top players in that position around the world, you see that you do
not always need to be a “destroyer” to be a successful defensive midfield player; more often than not, it comes down to good positional sense and ability to keep possession. Pirlo, Carrick, Xabi Alonso and Busquests are perfect examples of players who use a careful balance of mindfulness and attacking power.
While I feel that Wilshere’s current attributes show him as more suited for further up the field, it can do no harm in trying a fresh approach with a player whom we are not quite sure how to use. This is also an opportunity for Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to work together on the field. At the start of the 2014/2015 season, Arsenal were playing a 4-5-1 formation to allow for Wilshere and Ramsey to play together with little success. Can playing Jack deeper be the solution Arsene is looking for?
With Francis Coquelin putting Man of the Match performances week in week out and his preferred center position spoken for, it’s going to be extremely difficult for Wilshere to get back in the team. If he can get back to his best, perhaps in a new role, the depth he can provide for the group may be invaluable.
Written by: Aaqib, Follow him at @aaqib_alyas