View from The Dugout - Step forward Wilshire if Fabregas and Nasri depart Arsenal


Speculation is rife that Samir Nasri and certainly Cesc Fabregas could be leaving Arsenal this summer – but what would this mean for the fantasy prospects of their midfield colleague Jack Wilshire?

Well, it could just turn Wilshire into a genuine fantasy football option for our midfields.

The young 19 year-old has been a no-go area in previous seasons, either because he wasn’t nailed on to play, or in the case of last season, he played more of a defensive role allowing the likes of Fabregas and Nasri to bomb forward.

The stats don’t lie: 1 goal and 3 assists last season is not fantasy football material – even for his £4.9m price tag.

But take Fabregas and Nasri out of the equation and Wilshire may just get more license to bomb forward, as he now does for England.

Scott Parker sits in England’s midfield three, allowing Wilshire and Lampard to bomb on.

Remember England’s penalty against Switzerland in their recent Euro 2012 qualifier?

Wilshire drove forward into the Swiss box and was hurled down by Djourou for Lampard’s penalty which brought England back into the match.

Arsenal play a similar 4-3-3 system and Wilshire is a nailed on part of the midfield three. A vital cog in the engine room. So he’s there and ready to fit into a more attacking role.

Arsene Wenger is also rumoured to be on the look out for a new midfield enforcer. An anchor man not afraid to do the dirty work and hold that Arsenal midfield.

Joey Barton and Scott Parker have been mentioned as targets, and if Wenger does make such a move, surely he is planning to chuck Wilshire further forward.

With Robin van Persie in front of him, Wilshire would surely be amongst the assists and goals.

It’s worth noting Wilshire did receive 14 bonus points last season, so imagine what he could get with increased attacking returns.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen Wenger adapt the role of his young midfield talent.

Fabregas started out as a deeper lying midfielder before he was given license to roam in the 2009/10 season and hit 15 goals and 15 assists that season (more goals than he’d scored in his previous 3 seasons).

So there’s plenty of food for thought on Wilshire. It’s very early days. We don’t know if Fabregas and Nasri will leave, who Wenger will bring in, and even if he’ll stick with a 4-3-3, but don’t disregard Wilshire from your line-ups just yet…

In other news…

Quick mention on Fulham, who unbelievably kicked off their season tonight, with a 3-0 win in the Europa League against NSI Runavik.

Danny Murphy scored a penalty which indicates he’s likely to be Martin Jol’s first choice penalty taker, and Damian Duff drew special praise for his performance.

The Official Fulham FC Twitter account said:

“Special mention tonight has to go to Damien Duff who’s been out of this world Superb touch, running, 110% effort Its so good to see him back.”