Paul Merson has revealed his belief that England boss Roy Hodgson should take a fit Jack Wilshere to Euro 2016 this summer.
Given that the Arsenal midfielder has yet to play at all so far this season, Merson has emphasised the fact that he must prove his fitness first, but believes that if he does so, then you should certainly be heading for France.
Wilshere played an important role in qualification, but he now faces a real race against time with Hodgson set to make his squad announcement on May 12.
“One thing about Roy is he is very loyal. He’s very loyal to the people who have helped in along the way in the group stages,” he told The Fantasy Football Club Podcast, as reported by Sky Sports.
“That’s the way I read it. I think he needs to do more than just get on a pitch, for me he’ll have to play a few games and see where it goes from there.
“If he’s fit I think he will take him, I think he’s different to what we have got. He will make things happen, and sometimes you’ve just got to take that chance.”
The 24-year-old will firstly be desperate to get back into contention for Arsene Wenger’s side in order to give the Gunners a boost in the Premier League title run-in.
If he is able to feature, improve his fitness and make an impression, then he will hope that it is enough to earn the attention of Hodgson who will then have a difficult decision on his hands.
Merson is right in his assertion that Wilshere offers something different, and his talent has never been denied. However, his fitness has been doubted throughout his career thus far, and so the question is can England risk potentially wasting a spot in their squad.
England face Russia, Wales and Slovakia in the group stages of Euro 2016, and Merson went on to insist that key players could get a chance to rest if the team performs and gets two wins in their opening two games.
That’s easier said than done, particularly for the Three Lions who haven’t always produced in the big tournaments. In turn, Hodgson may well need numerous players in each position fit and ready to step in if required, and that makes Wilshere too much of a gamble unless he gets a real run of games under his belt in the coming weeks.