Jack Wilshere is possibly Arsenal’s most important player at the moment, which creates a dilemma for the club over whether to try and rush through treatment of his current ankle problem or simply rest him for next season.
Wilshere is such a driving force in the Arsenal team that his absence will have an impact on the side, as they try and compete for a top four finish which is vital to the club ahead of the summer transfer window.
He has been ruled out of action for another six weeks which means it will be May by the time he returns to training, which effectively stops him from taking any role in Arsenal’s final games.
For him to get back into contention around the start of May would require him to work his socks off when he’s allowed to do so, he’d need the perfect treatment and a bit of luck thrown in.
However, even while the top four race will likely go to the wire, there is a massive question over whether it’s worth the risk because there is always the worry that an injury will get worse if a player is put back into a side, before he is completely ready to be there.
Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are not stupid so the cautious approach is going to be the most likely route here, as annoying as that may be to several Arsenal fans.
Wilshere is so important to the current Arsenal side that he has to be fit and a regular first choice selection from the first game of next season, right up until the last game of the campaign.
The rest that he will now have will also allow him to reflect on how his and the club’s season has gone. He may not like how it’s gone, which will increase his determination and resolve ahead of the next campaign.
Wilshere has had ankle problems before so this gives him the chance to get it sorted out properly, which will reduce the chances of it reoccurring again in the near future, maybe at an even more crucial time.
He now has the benefit of an extended period out of the game and Arsenal have to use that, so they can make him a stronger, fitter and more determined individual.
If Arsenal don’t finish in the top four this season, they could find it difficult to attract the calibre of players who could transform the side, which makes Wilshere’s role next year even more significant than it already is.
How do you think Arsenal should handle Wilshere?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald