Crystal Palace have been constantly linked with a move for Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere since the midfielder announced that he was leaving The Emirates this summer and now, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson has dropped a hint over his potential arrival by comparing him favourably next to Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The Palace boss had been singing the Chelsea man’s praises ahead of his start in England’s demolition of Panama and chose both Wilshere and Michael Ballack as players to liken him to style-wise. It’s no secret that Roy has always admired Jack, you only need to look at the love affair the pair shared when the former was in charge of England for proof of that, but by speaking so openly about his admiration for him this weekend, Hodgson has shown that the 26-year-old is at the forefront of his thoughts ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Despite being offered fresh terms to extend his stay with Arsenal, Wilshere has taken the decision to call time on his stint with them, quite possibly as a direct consequence of Arsene Wenger’s departure from the dugout. Having been with the club since the age of 9, Jack has spent his entire career under the Frenchman’s tutelage and clearly looks up to him as a guiding influence both professionally and personally.
Whilst Unai Emery’s arrival may have seen him given a new lease of life, I can understand why Wilshere was keen to close this particular chapter of his career and move on to pastures new. As you would expect, he has interest from a number of places but both Palace and West Ham have been consistently mentioned as suitable destinations since May, leaving the midfielder with a tough choice to make over the next week or so.
Some will no doubt write it off as nothing more than a coincidence but I for one believe that Roy is looking to indirectly flatter Wilshere prior to him making the final call on where to play his football next season. It’s subtle but given their previous working relationship Roy doesn’t need to be too blatant with his words, Wilshere is well aware that he would get game-time in SE25, making the decision one of feel over practicalities in many ways.
At the time of writing, the club remain in limbo over Yohan Cabaye’s future as they await a decision from the Frenchman over the new deal that has been offered, whilst also holding out slim hopes of bringing the aforementioned Loftus-Cheek back into the fold ahead of the August deadline. With such a sense of uncertainty in central midfield, it would be great to get a deal for Wilshere signed and sealed before too long.
Are we being too optimistic to expect some movement over the next seven days? Hopefully not.