Jack Wilshere is apparently all set to become Alan Pardew’s sixth signing of the transfer window according to a report from Sun columnist and Palace fan Neil Ashton yesterday evening.
Whilst Wilshere has an undoubtedly huge amount of potential, it would be wrong of me to suggest that I see the deal as the “no brainer” that many others have within the last 24 hours. Of course, when fully fit and firing, the England international represents a genuine step up in class for our midfield, but given the turbulent nature of his last year or two at Arsenal, I can’t help but have serious doubts about his ability to mould into a style of play which differs from what he has become so accustomed to in North London.
Fitness issues and off-field mini-scandals have clouded the progression of a footballer who was trumpeted by countless figures within the game as the saviour of English football when first breaking into the scene in 2008. Having had his playing style compared favourably to the likes of Liam Brady, Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne and countless other technically gifted midfielders since first forcing his way into football’s collective conciousness, Jack is certainly viewed as a player for whom the sky is the limit, it’s just a shame that, at 24 years of age, he is yet to hit the heights mapped out for him.
Indeed, you need only look towards a career in which he’s made just 157 appearances for Arsenal to see that the treatment table has played a worryingly large role in his formative years as a footballer. Rarely left out of the side by choice, Wilshere’s on-off presence in the Gunners’ starting XI has become something of a running joke for neutrals across the country. Bearing this in mind, a stint at Selhurst Park may prove to be exactly what he needs, but without the use of a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know if the move will be a success for any of the three parties involved at this stage.