Much has been said about Jack Wilshere’s time at Bournemouth. Was it all worthwhile? Has he done enough to warrant a place in the Arsenal starting line-up? And would the Cherries really benefit from bringing him in on a permanent deal?
Ladbrokes News takes a look at the England international’s numbers for the season as he returns to his parent club following a season-ending injury picked up against Tottenham Hotspur last week.
Influence on team performances
Supposedly one of Bournemouth’s more creative players, Wilshere has spent much of the campaign changing between a central and more attacking midfield role.
He’s only completed 55% of the 27 games he’s played this season in the Premier League for the Cherries. Of those games, Eddie Howe’s men have picked up 15 of a possible 45 points.
Of the six games which Wilshere has either started on the bench or not featured at all (excluding the two fixtures again Arsenal where he was ineligible), Bournemouth have picked up 13 of a possible 18 points available to them.
As we mentioned earlier, Wilshere has been given a free role in this Bournemouth side for much of the season.
But what exactly has he done with it?
Well, he’s yet to score for the club – an area of his game many Arsenal fans wanted to see him improve on during his time away.
In fact, of the Cherries’ 49 top-flight goals this season, Wilshere has been directly involved in just two, providing assists in defeats against Southampton and Everton.
Compare that to the 14 goals Arsenal’s attacking midfielder, Mesut Ozil, has played a part in, and it’s clear to see there’s some way to go before he can be Arsene Wenger’s go-to guy.
What about his other stats?
Tackling has never really been a part of Wilshere’s game, so we’ll let it slide that he’s averaging two tackles per-game, compared the 5.1 and 4.8 Dan Gosling and Harry Arter are completing.
In terms of dribbles completed, the 25-year-old is averaging 3.5 per-game. His teammate Joshua King is averaging 3.8. Wilshere has enjoyed roughly a 66% success rate this season.
Compare those numbers to, say, Eden Hazard, who attempts 5.4 dribbles per-game, successfully completing four in five, and again this is an area in which Wilshere needs to improve if he’s to establish himself as one of the best attack-minded midfielders in the division.
There’s a huge reason he hasn’t scored for Bournemouth yet too. Quite simple, he’s just not shooting enough.
He’s averaging one effort per-game, and has managed just 10 shots on target all season.
More frightening is the fact that the England man has struggled in this department throughout his whole career. In fact, since his Premier League debut – some 145 appearances ago, Wilshere has registered just 44 shots on target. That’s 0.3 per-game.
It begs the question: what does he actually do?
And then there’s the money
As things stand, transfermarkt.co.uk value Wilshere at £17m, and it’s thought Arsenal would look for a fee in excess of that figure if they were to allow him to leave the club this summer.
Can Bournemouth afford that? Probably. But would they be getting value for money? The stats suggest probably not.
Of course, there’s also his wages to consider.
Currently earning around £90k a week, it’s hard to see Bournemouth paying that kind of money to Wilshere over a longer contract. To do it for one season (as they have done) is fine. But permanently for the next few years? It seems a little too much for a club of their size.
Where does all of this leave the man himself?
In limbo, if you’re asking us.
He’s not done enough to convince Wenger he should be starting week-in, week-out for the Gunners next season. And if the sole purpose of this loan deal was to secure Wilshere game time and bring him back to full match fitness, then that operation has failed, given that the midfielder will likely miss the start of next season through injury.
In an ideal world, Howe would love to call upon Wilshere for years to come, but we can’t see the Arsenal youth product returning to the Vitality Stadium as a Cherries player any time soon.
What do fans think of Wilshere’s season as a whole. And what do you make of his numbers?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing