Results, not stats, show Wilshere’s Arsenal break is working
It’s always been difficult to rate Jack Wilshere in terms of the usual stats – namely goals, assists and key chances created – despite the 34-cap England international being ostensibly an attacking-midfielder and apparently quite good.
Since first gaining the attention of the wider public with a fine second half of the 2009/10 campaign on loan at Bolton, Wilshere has scored just seven times in 124 Premier League appearances, with six more bagged in his 53 other Arsenal outings during that time.
Numbers such as these would be fine were they offset by a landslide of assists, as teammate Mesut Ozil often compensated for a lack of goals over the years, but Wilshere has laid on a startlingly low tally of 16 top-flight strikes in total.
Luckily for Bournemouth, where the long-time Gunner has made Eddie Howe’s XI for the last five Premier League matches after embarking on the second loan spell of his career in late August, 14 of those goals/assists came during the three seasons Wilshere played 19 games or more.
Keeping him fit and, perhaps more importantly, consistently playing in the same position could reap huge rewards for the Cherries, with Howe’s men unbeaten in four games since Wilshere established himself in the number-10 role behind centre-forward Callum Wilson.
Being on the pitch for four of his temporary team’s goals in the 6-1 win at home to Hull without getting on the scoresheet or having a key pass converted is a skill in itself as Wilshere continues to evade the statisticians.
All that being said, the number that stands out a mile is Wilshere’s 89.7% passing accuracy, which beats every other Bournemouth player to have started a Premier League match this season by at least two points, with 1.2 key passes per game on average the best rate he has produced for three seasons.
If he stays fit, Bournemouth will feel an 8/5 top-ten finish is well within their scope.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.