Rangers: Jack Wilshere the midfielder we want but maybe don’t need

Rangers have been linked to ex-West Ham/Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, we have a look at some of the pros and cons for the Light Blues signing him

If you guys thought 11pm last night finally closed the book on the transfer window, and the head-spinning media madness that comes with it, guess again! Alas, free agents are still able to be picked up even now and Rangers have found themselves caught up in a whopper, for better or worse.

Jack Wilshere, a name literally anyone who knows anything about Premier League football will recognise, for possibly all the wrong reasons, had his contract mutually terminated by West Ham United after playing just one game. I suspect the reasons behind this are ultimately more player led than club, with the 28 year old unhappy at the lack of minutes and uncertain if such a situation would improve in the future.

Nonetheless, Wilshere is now a free agent and in search of a club. He’s never played outside the Premier League before, having 9 full seasons with Arsenal and 2 with the Hammers, but it’s almost certain that’s where he’s headed. Normally I don’t take too much stock in what TalkSport has to say, and you shouldn’t either, but they’ve spearheaded the idea that Jack could be heading to Ibrox and it’s certainly intreaguing.

For Wilshere’s part, here’s what he had to say, as quoted by the Daily Record;

“I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the course of the last eight months – training hard every day – but unfortunately have not been given the opportunity to play.

Although of course I am frustrated that I was not fully able to showcase what I am capable of at West Ham I remain convinced I can still contribute at the very top of the game.

I’m now looking forward to the future and hope to be able to make an announcement about the next stage of my career in due course.”

It certainly doesn’t sound like an amicable divorce, but you can see it from West Ham’s perspective also. Wilshere is, and has a career of being, a bit of a liability. In eleven seasons of professional football he’s managed to start only 152 games and worse, only 6 in the last two seasons for the Hammers. That’s objectively awful, remove the Champions League games from that tally and Jacky boy has managed to start less than one third of the games he could. That’s not merely a selection issue.

He’s talented and any Arsenal fan would say the same. He was rated their biggest prospect, destined for England glory (he’s only capped two games, sadly) who was set to be a first team regular under Arsene Wenger where he was earning an eye-watering £110,000 per week to watch football. Indeed, it was that he was forced to watch that is the issue.

Right now, I think, if he comes then it’s amazing but if he doesn’t then somehow we’ll survive.

Ultimately Wilshere is about as injury prone a player as it comes. He’s infamous for it and it can’t be written off as merely bad luck – it’s the basis for his entire footballing career. While he certainly still has age on his side, how much he can contribute to any club, Rangers included, is questionable when he would no doubt carry a large wage bill and would have questionable playtime.

I’m not saying I don’t want Jack Wilshere at Rangers, not sure any Bear could make that sweeping statement when he’s Premier League quality and would drive interest in the club, if nothing else. His injury record however should give pause for thought and temper expectations. Right now, I think, if he comes then amazing but if he doesn’t then somehow we’ll survive.

If Gerrard wants him then I’m all for it, otherwise it’s possible that he may be more trouble than he’s worth. With another good acquisition yesterday in Bongani Zungu, Rangers are looking strong and will come back from the international break with renewed confidence. Hopefully by then the book really will be closed on transfer rumours, I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it.