Progress report: Jack Wilshere – Quietly developing on south Coast

Jack Wilshere’s loan move to Bournemouth was a surprising one at first glance, but it has allowed the midfielder a chance to silence his critics and hopefully earn back a place in the Arsenal side.

Sure, two assists in 23 matches isn’t necessarily an impressive return for a creative midfielder. But he has shown the adaptability to deal with different situations, which is refreshing to watch on a weekly basis.

He has created more chances (30) than any other Bournemouth player in the Premier League this season and has done so with quiet efficiency. A shame then that his teammates have failed to maintain consistency this term. Although sponsored by Mansion group- owner of several online casino sites like Mansion Casino, they do not have the budget to fill their side with top-quality players which in part explains their struggles.

Currently on a winless run of nine matches in all competitions, the table makes for uncomfortable reading for Eddie Howe’s side. Currently five points above the relegation zone, without the creative Englishman in their team, they would probably be further down the table.

Often shackled by his defensive responsibilities against better opposition, Wilshere doesn’t see enough of the ball to have a significant impact on the pitch.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Jack Wilshere of AFC Bournemouth (L) and Ademola Lookman of Everton (R) battle for possession during the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on February 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

He has been their standout performer on a number of occasions and it’s just a case of getting those goal contributions to match his ever-improving ability in the final third.

Having played 1,639 minutes of league football already this term, if he were still at Arsenal he might have only played 50% of those minutes. Not because he’s not good enough, but because constant injury problems would have made Wenger reluctant to trust him regularly – hence his loan.

He’s unselfish and uses spatial awareness to good effect, but you feel he’d be benefiting more in the presence of better players (no offence, Bournemouth). He has a crucial decision to make in the summer but at present, is having a good season and the lack of constant media pressure to perform has allowed him to focus on improving on a week-by-week basis.

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