Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been ruled out for six weeks after sustaining a hairline foot fracture during England’s narrow 1-0 win over Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday evening.
It will see him miss crucial ties against Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea as the North London side aim to get their faltering title charge back on track.
And now, after the latest in a long line of setbacks, the England midfielder may have to contemplate a career that may never see him become the player his younger years initially promised.
After a short spell on loan at Bolton, his breakthrough campaign in 2010/2011 made him one of the most promising young players in the country.
He was instrumental as Arsenal defeated Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium and his contribution helped them consolidate a Champions League spot that year.
But an ankle injury sustained in the Emirates Cup in 2011 ruled him out for 14 months and despite starring since, frequent setbacks have hampered his progress.
Steven Gerrard cited Wilshere as a future England captain last summer, saying there was ‘no doubt’ that the 22-year-old would one day sport the armband.
Yet the worries surrounding one of the Gunners’ golden boys are growing by the season.
His place in the heart of both Arsenal and England’s midfield is far from assured given the competition for places and though his newest injury should not hamper his chances of making the World Cup, manager Roy Hodgson will no doubt have one eye on his progress.
As Sven Goran Eriksson learned to his peril in 2006, regardless of the undoubted talent a key player may possess their inclusion is fruitless if injury blights their tournament.
Wilshre must pray his newest injury is his last. But the possibility of an unfulfilled potential continues to grow.
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