Former West Ham man Dean Ashton offers advice to Jack Wilshere after ankle injury

Jack Wilshere faces three months on the sidelines with yet another ankle injury.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is of course one of the best talents in English football. He has seemed destined for a career at the very top for both club and country since his emergence at Arsenal as a teenager.

But injury is threatening to define him.

The midfielder has had several long spells on the sidelines, specifically with ankle trouble.

He has missed whole seasons with consistent ankle problems and just when it looked like his troubles were behind him, he is out again.

He sprained his ankle against Manchester United at the weekend, requiring surgery, ruling him out for three months.

Of course this is a familiar tale. Former West Ham striker Dean Ashton was similarly hyped up to become an England hero.

Dean Ashton cost West Ham £7.25 million in 2006, moving to the club from Norwich City and quickly setting his sights on England selection.

He got his wish in August 2006 but that call-up was to be the end of him. Ashton was injured in a tackle with Shaun Wright-Phillips whilst with the England team, breaking his ankle and ruling him out for the majority of the 2006-07 season.

After a comeback in 2007-08 things started to go downhill fast for the player. He sprained his ankle in 2008, and again the next year - and it became a running theme throughout the next season.

In December 2009 Ashton, England’s next Alan Shearer, retired - and football purists lost their last great centre forward hope for England.

Now he has offered some advice for the Arsenal midfielder on Twitter. Upon hearing news of his injury yesterday Ashton sympathised with another sufferer of persistent ankle problems.

He wrote on Twitter:

Arsenal fans will hope that Wilshere's career does not go the same way as Ashton's.

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