Arsenal were supposed to be built around Jack Wilshere at this point, but seeing where he may now end up is really all you need to know.
Arsenal spent a long time – a lot of years – waiting for Jack Wilshere to get healthy so that he could assume his throne and be the centerpiece of both his lifelong club and of the English National Team.
Gradually, though, it became clearer and clearer that this just wasn’t going to happen, and Arsene Wenger moved the club on, expecting less and less out of Wilshere than his ‘prodigal son’ mantra has always carried.
This past season, he was given what is now looking like one last chance to prove himself. One last chance to show that the patience afforded him was justified, because look, he finally made it.
The problem is, Wilshere did not take his chance. A few sporadic performances that you could rank in the “elite” category, and the rest was incredibly underwhelming. We saw him be far too loose with the ball, far too invisible, and a shadow among much more dynamic midfielders.
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Which is why the club appears to be in no hurry to extend him, despite his contract running up at the end of this month.
When you see the clubs that Wilshere is linked to, however, it makes sense why there is no hurry. The likes of West Ham, Wolverhampton and Crystal Palace are being linked, which show just how far Wilshere has fallen.
He was trying to be a big fish in a big pond at Arsenal, but fading into a small fish in the big pond indicated that his time may be limited. Now, he is hoping to be a big fish again, but in a much smaller pond.
It’s sad to see, that this could be the future of Wilshere, but this is all merited. As mentioned, this year was his chance. He played well over 2000 minutes and he wasn’t all that reliable with it. So either he stays at the club with a merit-based deal based on performances and appearances, which essentially makes him a small fish in a big pond.
Or he goes somewhere else, a smaller pond, and looks a bigger fish.
This is the debate that Wilshere has been going on with Wilshere. Does he want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond? We shall see.