Whenever an international break takes place newspapers are left with a sizeable gap to fill in their sports sections from day to day; usually that means that rumours regarding potential transfers pop up once more.
According to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, Roy Hodgson is currently elbowing his way to the front of the queue to sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal in January, with the midfielder desperate for game-time given the looming presence of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Now, some may suggest that I have no place questioning Law over the story he’s written but it does have more than a whiff of him putting two and two together to make five. Yes, Wilshere himself is gagging for game-time and Hodgson used him regularly whilst in charge of the Three Lions but away from that neat little trip down memory lane, it’s not a deal which screams sense on a number of levels.
First and foremost, the centre of midfield is undoubtedly the position in which Palace are currently strongest, with Cabaye, Milivojevic, McArthur, Loftus-Cheek, Puncheon and Riedewald all vying for starting spots from game to game. Whilst Wilshere undoubtedly has quality, it would feel a little silly if the club didn’t address our lack of striking options, quality goalkeepers or wide back-up for Zaha and Townsend before giving the Arsenal man a career lifeline.
The make-up of our squad isn’t given a single mention by Law in the article attached above, leading me to question if he’s just plucked our name out of thin air as a consequence of the man occupying the dugout. Indeed, the piece never even gets close to analysing the financial sense of a possible permanent move for Wilshere, which with the club currently stranded at the very foot of the Premier League table, should surely be a topic that sits high on our priority list.
High wages, questionable form, a patchy injury record and concerns over a player’s off-field conduct aren’t exactly the boxes you look to tick when making a January signing in a bid to drag a side away from the foot of the table but all credit to The Telegraph for spinning a hunch out into what is made to sound like a statement of fact.
Who knows? I could be proven wrong in the first few days of the January window with Wilshere being unveiled as the man to save our season but I won’t be holding my breath.