Football

Wilshere v Fabregas: Who is better?

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Theo Walcott made the assertion on Friday that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere can, one day, become a better player that former Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas.

After the latter's move to Barcelona last summer, the stage is set for Wilshere to become the next Emirates Stadium superstar.

Injury, however, has halted his progress this season, although the 19-year-old frequently displayed his prodigious talent for Arsenal last term.

With Wilshere's comments in mind, GMF takes a closer look at the similarities between Fabregas and his natural successor...

Passing

During his time with Arsenal, Fabregas registered no fewer than 101 assists in 303 games and established himself as one of the finest providers in the English game.

The Spaniard possesses a full range of passing, and is able to find his target with pinpoint accuracy both other short and long distances.

But it is when Fabregas is in and around the opposition penalty area that he comes into his own, and finds himself and his teammates in pockets of space that others are unable to spot.

Wilshere, meanwhile, has yet to demonstrate the ability to find the killer pass as regularly as Fabregas, but will certainly add more assists to his game as time progresses.

The teenager is often the player to break up the play, so is required to play short and direct passes rather than expansive balls, although he does like to drop the ball over the full-back for the advancing winger.

Tackling

Fabregas' application and endeavour when operating in a deep midfield role are exemplary but, it would be fair to say, the 24-year-old is not a natural tackler.

This has, perhaps, become evident in the way he has been deployed since his move to Barcelona, with Pep Guardiola preferring to use Fabregas as part of a forward three, rather than in central midfield.

Wilshere, meanwhile, is far more aggressive in the centre of the park and possesses some stereotypically English methods when it comes to winning the ball.

That is not to say, though, that the teenager is overly rash or cynical, but he is able to impose himself on a game better than his former teammate.

Shooting

It was the 2009/10 in which Fabregas really established himself as a midfielder with genuine goalscoring ability.

He found the net an impressive 19 times in 36 appearances, and finished with 57 strikes to his name in eight seasons with the Gunners.

Since is move to the Nou Camp, Fabregas has further impressed with his composure in front of goal, and has already scored 13 times for the European Champions.

Although he is often overlooked for dead balls with Barca, Fabregas was Arsenal's first-choice penalty taker and also took free-kicks in goalscoring positions.

Wilshere, meanwhile, has yet to prove he is a genuine threat in front of goal, and has scored only three times in 64 games for Arsenal.

There is, of course, plenty of time for the youngster to add more goals to his game, having completed only one full season of first-team action.

In comparison, Fabregas scored three times during his first full season in Arsene Wenger's side.

Verdict

Wilshere is seemingly destined to become one of the best midfielders in the world and, of course, Fabregas is already among the elite.

The latter, though, is still yet to hit his peak and will continue to progress under the guidance of Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

Should Wilshere emulate his former captain, he needs to add more goals to his game, and it is likely he will become a more potent force in the years to come.

But, first and foremost, the England international needs to ensure he recovers from ankle surgery, having suffered a setback in training on Friday.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Jack Wilshere

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