Gareth Southgate has suggested that the reason he’s not selecting Jack Wilshere for England is down to the position he’s been playing at domestic level.
Wilshere played in an advanced midfield position, predominantly a number 10 role, while on loan at Bournemouth last year and has been deployed in a similar role, and on the wings, by Arsene Wenger this season.
This is a problem for Southgate who feels the 25-year-old should be playing deeper where he won’t compete with Liverpool’s Adam Lallana and Sp*rs Dele Alli.
“Jack played as a number 10 all of last season,” Southgate explained to journalists yesterday.
“That is not the way we are playing. When we have played with a 10, we have had Dele and Lallana.
“I don’t think Jack is a 10. I think he is a deeper player, but he is not playing deeper.
“But I want to be clear: I really like Jack Wilshere as a player. I think he is a talent and I really respect him as an individual. And I‘m hoping that we are in a position in March where we can pick him.”
Southgate had previously cited Wilshere’s lack of game time at the Emirates as another stumbling block. The player’s cause hasn’t been helped by Arsene Wenger who so far this term has predominantly limited Wilshere’s playing time to the Europa League and Carabao Cup. That’s despite claiming that England can’t afford to not pick the playmaker.