Jack Wilshere is perhaps the one Arsenal player who will benefit most from the arrival of Mesut Özil at the Emirates.
Özil’s departure from Madrid surprised many, but his arrival at Arsenal raised even more eyebrows.
Having played a starring role in Germany’s 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships campaigns, and already clinched La Liga title, the German is arriving in England with his best years still to come. It’s exciting times for Arsenal and the Premier League.
Almost four years Wilshere’s senior, Özil will be a mentor for the 21-year-old. While they occupy different positions in the midfield, the two possess similar qualities and Wilshere can learn a lot from the German.
Given Wilshere’s preference to sit slightly deeper than Özil, the two have the potential to become one of the Premier League’s most dynamic and effective midfield pairings. Santi Cazorla will probably be pushed wide to accommodate the new arrival, while Tomas Rosicky and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain – both injured at the moment - will have to fight even harder for a starting berth.
Arsene Wenger, who one suspects is still smiling from ear-to-ear after pulling off one of the coups of the summer, expects Wilshere and the German to compliment each other well.
“Jack Wilshere is more comfortable in deeper positions and Özil more in a higher position, that is why I don’t think they conflict,” Wenger said this week. "I didn't always think that, but looking at Jack over the years now, he likes to come deep to take the ball and make a difference, and then give and go again. Özil, though, is more behind the striker, higher up on the field. It is an exciting combination.”
Constant injuries have denied Wilshere the opportunity to develop at the pace Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey have. For this reason, Wilshere may not hit his peak until he’s 30 – and the next couple of years are vital if he is to find consistency and reach the heights his talent deserves.
His 90 minutes on the opening day of the season was his first full match since February, and the target for the England man is to get as many minutes under his belt as possible. Even 20 completed matches would be a vast improvement on previous seasons, and the hard hours in the gym and on the fields at London Colney will benefit him in the future.
But those training sessions will be a whole lot easier for Wilshere with Özil around – and Arsenal fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of their new Vieira and Petit.
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