Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has told Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere what he needs to be doing to get his England place back – and it’s no easy task.
The Gunners ace missed out on making the cut for Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s World Cup, in what many felt was a slightly harsh decision.
Wilshere had a decent season for Arsenal after returning to the club following a year on loan at Bournemouth in 2016/17, and has managed to stay injury-free for some time now.
However, Ferdinand feels it is totally justified that the 26-year-old isn’t going to be on the plane to Russia as he doesn’t contribute enough in the positions he can operate in.
As an attacking midfielder, Ferdinand feel Wilshere needs to be scoring 10-15 goals a season to establish himself in that role, while the likes of Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier are ahead of him in a more deep-lying, defensive midfield role.
‘Listen, I think Jack has got great talent, don’t get me wrong, but if he’s an attacking midfielder in today’s game you’ve got to be nicking 10-15 goals a season. And likewise with assists,’ Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror.
‘And I don’t think he gets those numbers so is he going to play a holding role? That’s where I would have played him if I was going to bring him – to get the ball and make us play.
‘But has he done that enough? Is he experienced in that position? Has he done that to more effect than Henderson this season? I wouldn’t say so. Dier does it for Spurs.’
It looks a big ask for Wilshere to live up to the standards being set by Ferdinand here, with the player having never managed more than five goals in all competitions in a single season throughout his entire career.
Injuries haven’t helped with that, but Wilshere has also never truly looked like much of a goal-scorer, and it is that failure to truly nail down his best position that has also held him back for club and country.