Jack Wilshere will never be one of the game's greats

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Jack Wilshere is best described as a generation-defining talent in English football.

The Arsenal midfielder is blessed with a talent that few can rival, and at only 21-years-of-age, plays with an assertive dominance few can ever hope to achieve.

When available for selection, the midfield starlet provides both Arsenal and England with not only an assured presence in the centre of the park, but also an ever-present threat going forward.

There's only one issue with that statement in my book; when he's available for selection.

It's no secret that Wilshere has suffered his fair share of injury woes thus far in his career, particularly since his induction as a main-stay to the Arsenal first-team.

Every time he goes down, half the Emirates wonder if he's going to get back up, and should he ever commit himself into a full-blooded tackle, the unfortunate likelihood is that the majority of viewers expect what follows to include either a stretcher or a physio.

For me, the young Gunner has all the makings of a world-class act, and with age very much on his side, a golden future looks all but inevitable. However I remain reserved on Wilshere's ability to etch himself into the game's history books, purely for the fact that consistency is key for an all-time great, and with an predisposed tendency to be on the surgery table each year, consistency cannot be guaranteed.

If you look at the the majority of the best midfielders in recent times, the likes of Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Frank Lampard, none of them were hampered by constant recurring injuries.

Sure they will have spent their fair share time in the treatment room, but Wilshere is different. Like it or not, his body is not as strong as it needs to be to survive the continual rigours of the modern game.

With the exception of El Phenomenon- Brazilian legend Ronaldo- there has been virtually no one that has left a lasting legacy on football whilst having to contend with an injury-riddled reign at the top.

A perfect case in question would be that of Ledley King. Sure, you're hard pressed to find someone who doesn't agree he wasn't a gifted footballer, but will he be remembered in forty or fifty years as a stalwart of his time? I don't think so.

Injuries to top athletes are as common as bread and butter, but whereas some performers can go years at a time without taking knocks and strains that offer lengthy spells on the sidelines, others are all too prone to suffering from them.

I'm under no illusions that there is plenty of time for Jack Wilshere to condition himself to the point where he doesn't appear made of glass, but in my opinion his ultimate weakness will prove to be his ultimate downfall.

The England star will always have a place amongst Europe's elite, because he simply is that naturally brilliant, but sadly I think it will transpire to be a case of 'what could have been'.

Football is an unforgiving game, and put simply it doesn't remember those who don't play.

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Jack Wilshere
Premier League

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