HEAD-TO-HEAD: Jack Wilshere vs Aaron Ramsey - How far behind is the England star?

Jack Wilshere

We compare the form of Arsenal midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, after Darren Anderton's comments that the England international is the more talented of the pair.

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It seems inevitable that Jack Wilshere's and Aaron Ramsey's careers will be compared and contrasted against each other.

The Arsenal duo both came through with big expectations on them and were touted as the major hopes for British football in the future.

However, as Ramsey has flourished, Wilshere has regressed, seemingly struggling to meet the standard required to play for the Gunners.

As a teenager, Wilshere's creativity and poise was identified as something which could make him a potential star in a side who are famed for their ability to bring through talented youngsters and demand highly levels of technical ability. 

Ramsey, though, has leapt ahead of the England international in the club's pecking order. Ramsey, much like Wilshere, had struggled with injury problems during the early stages of his career, but he has overcame them to become a major star at the Emirates Stadium.

After bursting on the scene in a fine breakthrough 2013-14 season, he now looks set to play a key role again and his emergence is the exact route which had been identified for Wilshere to take.

As such, it must rankle for the Arsenal youth-product to watch on as his friend, who was signed from Cardiff City as an 18-year-old, continues to pull further and further away from him. 

Ramsey has received much praise for his form over the past year, whilst Wilshere has taken a battering in the press, but he did receive some support from an unlikely source recently.

Former Tottenham Hotspur player Darren Anderton defended him, saying that he had all the talent to be better than Ramsey he just needed to be given time. 

"Ramsey was out for a while with an injury, he came back, he didn't play well for six months and the Arsenal fans were on his back, but look at him now," Anderton said. "The same thing can happen with Jack. He is a similar player - if not better in terms of quality."

The words provide a much-needed bit of praise from Wilshere, who is starting to see the pressure mount on him.

He had been built up to be England's great hope - the man who could go on to become an evasive number 10 for the side - but he has gradually sunk into the background. 

Once outlined to take an attacking midfield role, Wilshere now regularly provides a shield in front of the defence and is struggling to make the influence on games desired. 

Although the stats are still early on in the season, there is a huge difference between the impact that Wilshere is making in comparison to Ramsey.

  PositionGoalsAccurate PassTotal Scoring AttWon TackleAppearancesMins Played
Aaron Ramsey MF 2 250 10 6 3 270
Jack Wilshere MF 0 78 1 1 2 143

His Welsh counterpart may have played more than him, but this is a direct result of the fact that he is simply more involved in play. 

Wilshere's stats on the field are not much better than the norm, whilst Ramsey has already proven he can be a major help for the team in both boxes.

The energetic central midfielder has completed considerably more passes, more tackles and, crucially, found the back of the net far more often than Wilshere has - he leaves the 22-year-old lagging behind. 

It is not a good sign that a void is already starting to form between the standard of the duo's performances in what is supposed to be a make-or-break season for Wilshere.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can only give him so much time to fulfil his promise, before he will have to give up on him. Unless Wilshere can somehow close the gaping void between him and his teammate, it will be encouragement for the experienced Frenchman to look elsewhere. 

The chances of the England international making it in an attacking midfield position in North London looks limited, but Wenger's failure to sign a defensive enforcer over the summer have given him a chance to impress. 

It is an opportunity that he must seize, otherwise Wilshere could fall by the wayside like so many other English youngsters who have preceded him, and Ramsey's upwards career trajectory will always be used as an example of what might have been for him. 

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