Although it is yet to be formally announced, a number of news reports are confirming that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has not been included in Gareth Southgate’s England preliminary squad for the World Cup.
The midfielder has not been included for the summer tournament in Russia after the England manager preferred Fabian Delph and Ashley Young, who can operate in more positions than the 26-year-old offers.
The confirmation will come today afternoon when the list of 23 players will be announced, with the manager likely to explain those decisions in the scheduled press conference on Thursday.
There’s no indication whether he will be included as a back-up either. He has yet to feature for the Three Lions under Southgate, and while he was called up for the squad for the March friendlies against Italy and Holland, he was ruled out with a knee injury.
Fears of being injury-prone have been virtually dismissed this season, albeit for recent England withdrawal, with Wilshere making 20 Premier League appearances and contributing three assists and one goal in the process.
That latest season comes after a successful spell on loan at AFC Bournemouth, where he further dismissed any injury fears when he completed 29 appearances for the south coast side and re-emerged as an Arsenal favourite.
So much so, his performances for Arsenal has led to many fans calling for him to be made captain next year should he sign a new deal with the club, where he grew up and supported. One of the star performers in the Europa League campaign and the indifferent Premier League.
The exclusion has left a number of Arsenal and England fans not happy, branding the decision a ‘joke’ and even stated they will not support their national team this year.
No #wilshere is a disgrace. Southgate should be sacked for that alone.
— Héctor (@OneBacarySagna) May 15, 2018
— FERNZIL (@vanfernsie) May 15, 2018
‘Double standards’ claimed one social media user, especially if Adam Lallana is picked ahead of Wilshere, where he has been more on the sidelines in the last 24 months.
Supporters have claimed that the playmaker is the only potential midfielder in the squad who can open up defences and is the comfortable taking on opponents from deep positions.
The omission may be in Arsenal’s interest though as it will give Wilshere enough time to commit his future to the club, making sure the number ten remains in Arsenal colours next year.
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