Controversial pundit Stan Collymore wrote in his Mirror blog that Arsenal may never get to see the best of Jack Wilshere following his numerous injury problems.
The England international graduated through the Gunners youth ranks and made huge impressions on breaking into the first-team squad, prompting international recognition and calls for future captaincy.
However, following a successful debut campaign in the Premier League, Wilshere has spent much of the past three seasons battling against a succession of injuries.
So far this campaign, he has featured just nine times in the league and his latest setback has caused Collymore to fear for the worst and question his position in boss Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans.
“Wilshere’s problem is that he is trying to make an impact in an area of Arsene Wenger’s team that is already hugely competitive,” the former Nottingham Forest striker explained.
“It doesn’t matter if he is pushed further forward or used as a defensive shield, if he can be trusted to play only half-a-dozen matches at a time, then what use is he to the Arsenal boss?
“Wilshere will be anxious to get his career back on track but the longer you are absent, the less a manager relies on you. Time slips by and your usefulness is forgotten.
“Arsenal would benefit from having Jack Wilshere to call upon. But how long can they realistically wait? It’s not his fault – and I sincerely hope I’m wrong – but I now genuinely fear that the Gunners will never see the best of him.”
Does Jack Wilshere have a long-term future at Arsenal?
There is little denying that Wilshere has an abundance of talent and at just 23 years of age the potential is there for him to be an established player in the Gunners’ midfield for years to come.
However, aside from his injuries, there are a number of questions which have been raised regarding the former Bolton Wanderers loan star’s best position.
Wenger’s side have experienced a shortage of defensive protection for years, but going forward they have an array of attacking options and Wilshere’s best attributes are more suited to a role further forward.
With the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil providing creativity in the final third, where does Wilshere fit into this equation? Arguably, he doesn’t.