Would Jack Wilshere Be Perfect For Palace?
Jack Wilshere will have been watching the World Cup in Russia and bemoaning his absence from the England squad.
When Wilshere emerged on the scene at Arsenal, he was expected to be the next great hope to carry England to a quarter-final at a major tournament.
When this World Cup rolled around, he was instead suggested as a midfield option purely because the other options were so underwhelming. Now that Wilshere has permanently left Arsenal, he will be eager to revitalise his career. Palace are among the bookies’ favourites and lead the pack to snap up his signature.
If Wilshere does sign for Palace, then an extremely capable player will be arriving at Selhurst Park. He has suffered terrible luck with injuries, but he should also receive criticism for failing to make a sufficient impact when fit. Considered to be the type of progressive midfielder that England have been crying out for and that Arsenal are so reliant upon, Wilshere has regressed to a Henderson-esque passenger all too often. His loan spell at Bournemouth showed glimpses of his quality, but Bournemouth’s hesitancy to swoop in to sign him on a permanent basis reflects that the two were not a perfect fit.
Money may be an issue too, but Wilshere is at the stage where he needs to play. Palace have the benefit of being in London (just in case you were unaware), so Wilshere would not need to relocate. West Ham United are also among the front-runners, with this type of signing perhaps more traditionally associated with the Hammers than the Eagles.
Palace and West Ham are going to be shopping in the same market, with betfair football predictions placing both sides at odds of 500/1 to win the Premier League. Of course, neither side have such expectations, but it reflects their status as sides who will be dreaming of a secure top half finish. West Ham are less stable than Palace, with last season plagued by off-field drama. Wilshere could benefit from avoiding that circus, which makes Palace a more attractive local option.
If Wilshere does want to relocate, then Fenerbahce have emerged as a surprise leading contender, but the safe money would be on him remaining in the Premier League and aiming to prove doubters wrong. With the end of Yohan Cabaye’s contract, Wilshere would be an ideal replacement for the Frenchman with his ability to dictate tempo and carve open defences from deeper positions.
Roy Hodgson’s management style may be perfect for Wilshere to find his best form, with Hodgson moulding a Palace squad that looked woefully inept under Frank de Boer into a cohesive and effective unit. Wilfried Zaha used to have that Wilshere-esque tag of being great on his day but too inconsistent, but last season Zaha demonstrated that he can reach that level every week.
At the age of 26, this next move is crucial for Wilshere. He needs to be playing regularly in a team that complements his strengths, and Palace could be that team. If he is able to consistently perform his best, then Wilshere can yet be an integral part of the England squad for the next decade.