Why not signing a defensive midfielder was always Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s plan

Arsene Wenger Looks On

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said back in December 2013 that Jack Wilshere is the club’s long-term anchorman-in-midfield.

Arsenal fans are still livid that manager Arsene Wenger did not sign a defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window.

Wenger is unlikely to do so in January or next summer. He made that clear back in 2013.

Speaking to the Arsenal Magazine in the December 2013 issue, Wenger had this to say when asked about Jack Wilshere’s best position.

‘Jack Wilshere’s best position in the future is certainly as a deep-lying midfielder in front of the defence where he can be a distributor’, said the Frenchman.

‘He can win the ball, he’s intelligent tactically, he has a good burst and good vision. I would say he’s better when he faces the game than with the back to goal’.

Wilshere has struggled with fitness concerns over the last few years, but this term he is fully fit and has been deployed in a deep-lying midfield role on occasions.

The 22-year-old is also being deployed as a defensive midfielder for the England national team at the moment, and it now seems set (in stone?) that Wilshere will be played as the anchorman-in-midfield.

And that is the long-term solution to Arsenal's ‘defensive midfield crisis’.

Mikel Arteta has been played in defensive midfield this season and so has Mathieu Flamini, but neither is a viable option in the long run.

There have been recent reports that Arsenal's main priority is to sign a defender in January, while Manchester United's Michael Carrick has backed Wilshere to make the defensive midfield role his own.

Given the abundance of attacking talent in Arsenal’s midfield, it would be best for Wilshere if he adapts to the anchorman role as soon as possible. The Englishman is still learning and developing, and he will continue to do so as the season progresses.

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