According to The Mirror, the French coach is considering the option of converting the 22-year-old England midfielder from an attacking midfielder and playmaker into a holding midfielder to protect the backline at the Emirates.
Having pursued the likes of Sami Khedira and Lars Bender, the report suggests the Arsenal boss has returned his interest to the players he already has available within his ranks but could the conversion be best for the team and the player?
Arsenal already have vice-captain Mikel Arteta and senior defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini as their lieutenants in that area of the pitch but the fans have been crying out for a genuine enforcer to come in to the team. However, with the superb season Aaron Ramsey had last terms and the arrival of Alexis Sanchez at the club, one wonders where Jack Wilshere would fit into a starting XI next season.
Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fully fit at some point and even with young Serge Gnabry potentially going out on loan, Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Tomas Rosicky can all play either wide or in that attacking playmaker role.
Ramsey has emerged as one of the most complete central midfielders in the Premier League and, in many ways, his development has seen Wilshere fall behind into his shadow but perhaps the answer is in deed behind Ramsey in a deep-lying anchorman role.
The most obvious barrier to this scenario is Wlshere’s small frame, at just 5ft7” and a half, he is hardly going to be considered an ‘enforcer’ but perhaps he doesn’t need to be – he is one of the most durable and committed players in Arsenal’s team, he loves a good challenge (and a bad one too) and he has exceptional reading of the game which would suit that position well.
He is one of the most reliable passers of the ball and, not being the fastest in terms of pace, perhaps a role that doesn’t require bursting runs into the box would be ideal for him. He has never been a prolific goal scorer, even at the best of times.
In probability, Wenger will continue to use Arteta and Flamini in rotation for the next campaign and can ease Wilshere into the role for when the Spaniard’s contract expires next summer.
If that doesn’t come to fruition and Wenger buys a genuine defensive midfielder like Khedira or Bender, it would be hard to see the No.10 getting a regular spot in the team otherwise in his natural position, for which he will have to compete with Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey.
Do you think Wilshere could function as an anchorman?