Kroos demonstrates the one thing Wilshere still lacks

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Jack Wilshere stood head and shoulders above his teammates as Arsenal went down 3-1 to Bayern Munich at the Emirates, and there is no doubt he is an excellent player, but he still is not a complete one.

One the more interesting aspects of the Robin van Persie transfer over the summer was the passing of his number 10 shirt to Jack Wilshere, leading to plenty of speculation about a more advanced role for the young midfielder when he returned from injury.

Since he has come back, Wilshere hasn't really taken on that position yet, with Cazorla's form and the requirement for Wilshere's influence in the centre of the park meaning he has more often started deeper. However you would expect that for Wilshere to truly become the world class player he is capable of, at some point he will move a little further up the formation where he exert his influence in the final third more regularly.

If that is the plan, there was a man playing against him last night that he could do a lot worse than emulating. At 23 Bayern's Toni Kroos is only two years older than Wilshere, but having had the benefit of fewer injuries in his early career, and a settled attacking midfield position in his side, Kroos demonstrates the qualities required of that position far better than the England player.

Whilst Wilshere seemingly has it all, a ludicrously good first touch to complement fantastic dribbling and passing abilities in tight spaces, he still lacks a killer instinct. When either shooting himself or laying on the final pass to create a chance for his teammate, Wilshere simply doesn't look entirely comfortable yet.

Kroos scored the kind of goal last night that you cannot imagine Wilshere scoring, and he will need to start doing so if he wants to cement an advanced position in the team more appropriate to his shirt number. You don't need to be prolific in that role, but contributing five to ten goals and ten assists a season should be within Wilshere's ability, he currently has one and four respectively in twenty appearances this year.

At 21 and with such a lot of talent Wilshere is clearly capable of adding this threat to his game, and Kroos' own career trajectory is something he could well emulate. In two years’ time there would be no surprise to see Wilshere directly contributing to more goals, but right now it is perhaps the one thing he lacks.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © jiazi

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