Former Liverpool defender Phil Babb has suggested on told Sky Sports that it is time for Arsenal to let go of midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Babb, who also played for Sunderland and Coventry City, made the comments during Sky Sports’ Morning View show on Thursday morning.
“He (Wilshere) has not been missed,” said the 44-year-old. “They (Arsenal) have been playing so well without him, and you have to think back to Jack.
“Yes, we know that he is a great talent. Years ago, they were saying that he is going to the future captain etc etc. You know, he has played only 95 times in the league since 2008.
“That’s six years. He is averaging 15 games a season and has only got five league goals in that period of time. Looking at the stats, you would say, well, is he a key player?
“Is it actually time to let him go because his numbers don’t add up? I know that Arsenal fans won’t like me saying that, but are Arsenal really getting their bang for their buck for Jack Wilshere?”
Wilshere has indeed not been missed this season, and when the England international midfielder has featured, he has not looked particularly great.
In nine Premier League appearances so far this season, the 23-year-old scored one goal and created seven chances, while having a pass accuracy of 83% and a shot accuracy of 71%.
The Englishman has won just 18 of the 41 dribbles he has attempted and only seven of the 19 tackles he has made.
While Wilshere does not look like a player who is integral to Arsenal’s plans at the moment and he is already 23 years of age, one needs to remember that over the past few years he has struggled with serious injuries.
Moreover, given the fierce competition for places in the Gunners team, Wilshere has also been deployed in holding midfield role on occasions - a position that he is not great at - not yet anyway.