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Abou Vassiriki Diaby. That name brings memories, doesn’t it? A player supremely talented, marauding presence going forward, tall enough to play the enforcer, sublime dribbling abilities, the player that was bought to replace our mercurial captain, Patrick Vieira. The player that everyone was so sure would be Vieira’s spiritual successor, but….you know the rest of the story.
The love story that was meant to be didn’t last. His unfortunate luck with injuries saw him go at the beginning of this season. From 2006-2015, he made just 125 appearances.
As we are on the verge of playing Liverpool again, I hope you still remember his performance in Anfield few years ago. It was one of those performances that people will remember for a long time. He tackled, hassled, bullied, passed Liverpool out of the park. Did the work of two men.
And immediately got injured for the season…
Now who does that remind you of in our current squad?
A player with immense promise but unlucky with injuries hampering his career greatly? A player we need right now, that has been seeing injury setbacks, one after another? A player Arsenal fans adore, Tottenham fans love to loathe. A player that could dominate the Barca midfield at 18? A player that was on the path to become an England regular until his injuries began?
If you answered Jack Wilshere, please buy yourself a cookie.
Arsenal fans are divided about Wilshere like never before. One group wants to let him go, the other wants to keep him. Both groups have their reasons.
The first group says he is hogging up an important squad space, high wages for a player that is never around.
If we had another player on his place, however less talented, would at least let Arsenal deal with the midfield injury problems better. Would allow us to rotate more. We simply can’t afford to keep a player that is perennially injured. We need more bodies in midfield.
That is sound logic from every angle.
The other group wants reminds you how incredibly talented Wilshere is. When fit, his forward bursts are a thing to behold. His bursting runs alone can be the key to unlock this increasingly defensive league. They remind you how much promise he has, his sublime long range goals. Not to mention this is a player forged by Arsenal.
He’s been here since age 9, playing in every age level, winning youth cups. He’s an Arsenal fan, simply put, he’s one of us. Cazorla is not getting younger, Arteta and Flamini is about to leave. If we don’t give him chance now, then when? Isn’t he the cream of our crop from our youth project?
Which group do you listen to? The cold hearted, business minded, no-nonsense group? Or the more optimistic, glass-half-full group? Both groups agree on his fitness though. Even his staunch critics would have him in their team in a heartbeat when fit.
Each group’s stance has its merits
If you listen to the first group though, you won’t be blamed. With Arsenal finding their financial prowess again, we can afford to spend and go out and grab one of the best midfielders.
Arsenal – or Arsene himself – still loves the cheeky “Who the hell is he?” bargains though. But buying Ozil and Sanchez sends one message, Arsenal now has the money and we are not afraid to spend if the quality is available.
With Arsenal on the title run, Wenger has got out and grabbed Elneny. But he’s more of a back-up, not first team material yet. But when Cazorla leaves, Arsene could go out and get the Verattis and Pogbas of this world. Where does that leave Wilshere if he’s stuck in his current situation?
But on the other hand, if you don’t wait for him at least another season, you might just miss a trick. Look at Bellerin. Look at Campbell. Look at Coquelin. There were so many calls to discard them, now they are firm favorites. Had we been impatient, the case wouldn’t have turned out like this.
Albeit Wilshere’s case is a little different but who’s to say he won’t come out and have another season like 2010? If we are impatient now, and another top team buys him and he starts performing, that leaves us only to rue our impatience.
Patience the best option…For now
Our verdict would be to be patient for another season. The calls to discard him should subside a bit. Let’s watch him another season.
If not, we have the mettle to replace him. Just not yet, he’s one of our own and he deserves that chance.
Written by Tahsein Rahman Khan
Follow Tahsein on Twitter @_Tahsein_
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