With Jack Wilshere’s return from injury, Arsenal now have a selection problem for their already packed midfield.
Manager Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that the England midfielder will return for this weekend’s fixture against Crystal Palace, as reported by Talksport, after missing three months following an ankle injury sustained in November.
The Frenchman didn’t go as far as to say the midfielder would be starting the game though, and it’s likely that Wilshere will have to bide his time and earn his place in the starting line-up once again.
Fellow midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil have been in fine form, while Francis Coquelin’s impressive performances in defensive midfield have arguably made that position his. If Wilshere were to return, one of them would have to be sacrificed.
We decided to compare his stats with German Ozil, who has played a similar amount to the Englishman this season, and see who deserves to be starting for Arsenal in the future.
First and foremost, a midfielder is arguably rated on his possession stats, and in this regard, Ozil is far ahead. As the stats above show, his total final third passes are way above his fellow midfielder’s, leading 295 to 166, while his number of forward passes is also higher than Wilshere’s.
Despite that, it seems that the England man is a safer bet than his teammate, having lost possession considerably less than Ozil. However, it seems that he isn’t as adept at creating chances for his side, with Ozil leading on his number of assists while he also has twice as many big chances created. Elsewhere, he also has three goals compared to Wilshere’s one.
On this evidence then, it seems Wilshere has a fight on his hands to get himself back into the Arsenal midfield. Given these stats, and the fact Wenger is unlikely to want to disrupt a settled midfield, it may prove to be a long wait for the midfieder.