Jack Wilshere should have been insulted by the £42million signing of Mesut Ozil last summer because he has the talent to fill the role of the Germany international, that is according to Arsenal legend Tony Adams.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, the former Gunners captain revealed his belief that the England international has the ability to play a similar role to Arsenal’s record signing and that he would not have been happy had Arsene Wenger signed a top defender in his position while he was at the club.
Arsenal’s manager threw off the shackles of frugality last summer when he paid Real Madrid the record fee for the playmaker and Adams believes Ozil arriving should have been taken personally by Wilshere.
“If push came to shove, for a cup final or big match, Arsene would pick Ozil ahead of Jack,” he said.
“He should have taken it as a personal insult that Arsenal went out and signed Ozil when they already had the same talent at their disposal in him.
“Had they bought a German centre-half in my playing days, I’d have wanted to prove I’m head and shoulders better — that’s what Jack must do with Ozil.
“For me, Jack is as good a player but Ozil has just won the World Cup with Germany and achieved far more.”
Over in a flash
Adams also warned the 22-year-old that he risked seeing his career slip away if he does not prove himself and win his way back into the Gunners starting XI, as there are an abundance of players that could take his place.
“We can talk all day about things Jack can improve on — like scoring more goals — but he needs to get on the field more,” he added.
“It would help if Arsene played him more in his best position as a creative No 10. But Jack is hindered by the fact the club has so many players in his position.
Lots of options
“Yet he should certainly be in front of Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey — and competing with Ozil.
“Jack needs to make sure Arsene dares not drop him, just like Aaron Ramsey did last season with his performances. He has to be more verbal, shake things up and show more fire in his belly.”
Adams spent his entire career with the north London club, most as captain, and he won various trophies in that time, including the league and FA Cup double twice under Wenger. He became known as ‘Mr Arsenal’ among fans for his commitment to the club and leadership qualities.