Arsenal: This may finally be Jack Wilshere’s great return

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal looks on during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and 1. FC Koeln at Emirates Stadium on September 14, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal looks on during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and 1. FC Koeln at Emirates Stadium on September 14, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /

Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere finally seems to be back in form. His fitness is good and he looks promising, but can he keep it consistent and make this his long awaited grand return?

Jack Wilshere‘s Arsenal career has been one of delight and bitter disappointment.  As Arsenal fans, we have seen it all with Wilshere from the sensational displays as a young English kid, to the off-the-pitch antics, to the countless injuries which have ultimately jeopardized his career in North London.

Related Story: 3 Positive Signs From Jack Wilshere Against BATE Borisov

Things seem to be looking up for the midfielder, however, after promising performances against Doncaster in the Carabao Cup and BATE Borisov in the Europa League. Performances like these show the Wilshere we all know from a few years ago. The long balls over the top, the powerful dribbles through the midfield, the passion and the drive – they are all signs of a great return for Jack.

What does he need to do to make his return?

There are two problems that he must contend with if he wants to make a return. The first is his fitness. His injury crisis over spanning his entire career has become so unfortunate that it is almost laughable. If he wants to come back and play every week, he must keep these injuries at a minimum.

How is he supposed to stay injury free? This is a difficult question. Players do not have much say when it comes to ailments that prevent them from playing; they cannot just simply decide whether they pick up injuries or avoid them, they just happen to come about every now and again. In Jack’s case, every now and again seems to be just about every time he returns from a previous problem.

Wilshere may not be able to control his injuries, but he can certainly lower the possibility of picking them up. The way Jack plays often involves dangerous tackles and lunges that come in from opposing players.

From watching him dribble, we know that he is constantly tripped and brought to the floor by whatever mean possible. These fouls can be good, though, because they win the team free-kicks in good areas.

Yes, these free-kicks can be valuable. But what is more valuable, his fitness, or a chance to have a pop at goal? Ultimately, the first option is more important. We need Wilshere in the team because of what he adds to our game.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

He plays the type of free-flowing football that makes Arsenal so dangerous. He has the ability to provide that crucial pass in the final third much like his German counterpart, Mesut Ozil. If he wants to play every week he has to limit the amount of tackles in which he is involved.

The second problem for Wilshere is one regarding team selection for Wenger. Who does he pick when Wilshere is fit? Wilshere plays in the midfield, so if he were to start, one of Granit Xhaka or Aaron Ramsey would not be playing. Wenger has a big predicament here. Xhaka and Ramsey work well together, for the most part, because they compliment each other.

Ramsey likes to make long runs into the box, while Xhaka is more of a deep-lying midfielder. This means that there is usually always at least one midfielder present to help the defense deal with counter attacks. If Wilshere were to play with Xhaka, the two could become a very good pairing. Jack can be a like for like swap for Ramsey because he too makes deep runs into the oppositions half.

However, if Wenger decides to play Wilshere and Ramsey together, there could be a problem. Both of these players run box to box. At some point in the match they could easily be caught out of position. If they both decide to make a long run at the same time, there will be nobody to provide help for the defense should a counter attack ensue.

How can Jack make his way back into the first team picture?

If Jack Wilshere wants to get back into the team he will have to convince the boss that it is worth the risk to play him. He has to show Wenger that he can stay injury free and that he can work well in our midfield. He may have to change his game slightly to avoid injury, but it will be worth it if he can produce the stellar performances we saw him put in as a teenager.

Next: Arsenal's 30 Greatest Players Ever

Wilshere could be the player that we have desperately needed in the last three years, somebody who can put in a good shift in the midfield and play the crucial pass when it matters the most. If he is fit and playing, he could become another Arsenal great for future players to emulate.