Martin Keown - This side of Wilshere will only benefit Gunners

Jack Wilshere

Martin Keown has suggested the way Jack Wilshere plays for England can only benefit Arsenal.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has suggested that Jack Wilshere’s role with the England national side will only benefit the Gunners.

Roy Hodgson asked Wilshere to play defensively in the 2-0 win against Switzerland, at the base of a midfield diamond which Keown says contradicts the way Wilshere has been used at Arsenal.

“I think if you asked Arsene Wenger he would say that Jack’s strength is in the final third - Jack has always been at his best running at people, but in that deep lying role he will have to be careful not to overrun it with nobody left to protect him,” said Keown.

However, despite the idea Wilshere looks as though he could end up playing different roles for club and country, Keown sees benefits which the Gunners can take as a result.

“Adapting to this position will make him a much more responsible player and Arsenal will only benefit from that defensive awareness.”

  TeamPosTotal TackleInterceptionSuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 8 4 101 3 270
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 4 2 23 1 90
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 4 4 18 2 180
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 3 3 77 2 180
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 1 4 70 3 183
Jack Wilshere Arsenal MF 1 1 29 2 143

Wilshere is certainly one of the most versatile midfielders that Arsenal have available and his stats should improve throughout the season in terms of tackles and interceptions to adding passes in the final third as the Gunners look to press on with pressure.

The worry for Arsenal fans will be situations such as this one; where Wilshere is coming off the back of an international break and playing a certain way with England.

If he starts against Manchester City tomorrow lunchtime, he’ll likely feature in a more advanced position with one of Mathieu Flamini or Mikel Arteta behind him in a more defensive role.

He could still be in a defensive mindset from the England game but he has enough quality to be able to switch into a more attacking mindset, preventing the chance of a hangover from the international break.

Wilshere could become the most complete midfielder in the Premier League but it will be interesting to see how he juggles two specific roles throughout the season.

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