Jack Wilshere’s latest injury setback makes it easy to think ‘same old, same old.’
The Englishman’s talent is not in doubt but his injury history is the reason West Ham were able to pick him up for nothing – except his considerable wages – this summer.
After just five games of the season, he has undergone surgery that looks set to keep him on the sidelines for six weeks.
Wilshere’s injury record and West Ham’s struggles with Andy Carroll; talented, but never fit enough to rely upon are cause for concern.
One year or three years?
Wilshere’s setback brings to mind a detail raised by the Daily Mail about the signing of Wilshere. They claim that David Sullivan, presumably concerned about Wilshere’s history, only wanted to offer the playmaker a one-year deal.
However, Pellegrini insisted that Wilshere was given the stability of a three-year contract and won out. Does the fact that the midfielder is out until around November prove that Sullivan was right to be cautious?
Or, does it mean that Pellegrini’s decision to give Wilshere more years to prove his worth to the club was the right decision? After all, with Sullivan’s approach, Wilshere would be free to talk to clubs in January, having only played a handful of games for the Hammers.
Wilshere’s almost immediate setback doesn’t immediately prove Sullivan right, but it does reinforce the reasons for his caution.
In truth, much will depend on Wilshere’s recovery. If it drags on until Christmas and into the new year, the Hammers may worry about being tied to Wilshere for three years.
That feeling will only grow if Declan Rice, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang continue to shine in midfield.
However, Wilshere is a coup and an upgrade on Noble in that system. If he comes back fighting fit – and it’s a big if, given his record – he will still add something to the team.
Imagine Wilshere performs impressively in the second part of the season but is free to talk to clubs from January and could walk away in May. That’s why Pellegrini wanted to tie him down. He should be proved right.