Ray Parlour: Why this is a huge season for Jack Wilshere at Arsenal
Ray Parlour is hoping Jack Wilshere can stay injury-free and live up to his potential at Arsenal this season
Ray Parlour believes that Jack Wilshere is facing a “massive” season in his career as he looks to steer Arsenal towards a title challenge.
The 23-year-old England international endured another frustrating campaign last term after missing most of the season with an ankle injury.
Wilshere scored two goals and made one assist in 14 Premier League games for Arsene Wenger’s men but only made his return to action in May after undergoing surgery in November.
Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour believes that it is crucial that Wilshere steers clear of injury this season as he looks to live up to the hype surrounding his potential.
“We said last year that it was a big season [for Wilshere]. Injury-wise, it’s a massive season,” Parlour told The Sport Review, speaking on behalf of Carlsberg, the Official Beer of the Premier League.
“We’ve seen what he does – when he played for England he was superb and scored two cracking goals. That is one part of his game he probably has to improve, scoring a few more goals from midfield.
“But he’s such good quality, I remember at 15 when he first came over to train with the lads, he was so confident about his own ability, training with Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, he was superb and I always said he would be a star of the future.
“Injuries have probably stopped him getting to world-class but if he can stay injury-free for two or three seasons, I think we’ll see the best of Jack Wilshere. He’s certainly a top-class player.”
It’s a big season for him, he knows that.
Wilshere was linked with a big-money transfer to Manchester City earlier in the summer, but Parlour does not believe that a move to Etihad Stadium was ever on the cards.
“I don’t think he was ever going to leave this season,” Parlour continued. “I think he wants to get in that side and play week in, week out, and I think Arsene Wenger is the manager to say that if he does perform, he will be staying in the side.
“It’s a big season for him, he knows that. He’s gone back early to try and get his body ready for the new season.
“This pre-season is very important for him, getting training under his belt, and let’s hope for Arsenal and England that he can stay fit for the whole season.”
Ray Parlour and the Carlsberg Fan Squad are all about making football better for fans. That means making sure stadiums are filled with real supporters in the 2015-16 season. Follow @CarlsbergFooty to find out how you can win tickets from the Official Beer of the Premier League