Gareth Southgate drops truth bomb about Jack Wilshere's England chances 3 years ago

Gareth Southgate drops truth bomb about Jack Wilshere's England chances

Evan after England's best World Cup in 28 years, Gareth Southgate is still getting asked about Jack Wilshere.

Wilshere was once the great hope of English football. He was just 19 when he excelled for Arsenal against Barcelona's famed midfield of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

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He's arguably the most talented English midfielder of his generation, but Wilshere's career hasn't developed as many had predicted. Injuries and fitness issues took their toll.

Between September 2014 and October 2016, he didn't complete a full Premier League match.

He failed to make a mark at Bournemouth during a loan spell and was allowed to leave Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of last season.

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Wilshere signed for West Ham, who are rock bottom of the Premier League without a win in their opening four games of the season. So, for some reason, there have been calls for him to return to the England squad

Even after a summer where England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and Southgate's faith in young players was justified, the England manager still has to field questions about Wilshere.

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When asked in a press conference earlier this week what Wilshere has to do to earn an England recall, Southgate simply said:

"Play well."

"I’ve watched two of his first three games, so the same as every other player. They've got to be playing well and the competition is high," he continued.

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Wilshere has 34 caps for England and last played for the country in 2016.

He's still only 26, so there is plenty of time for him to work his way back into Southgate's plans. But it's obvious what he needs to do. As the England manager said, Wilshere, like any other player, needs to play well and he will be considered for selection.

It's a little bizarre that he even had to answer such a question considering how well England have performed without Wilshere in the squad.

Southgate also spoke about Declan Rice, Wilshere's West Ham teammate who is deliberating about his international future.

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Rice has played three games for the Republic of Ireland at senior level but is contemplating switching allegiance to England. The London-native has been contacted by Southgate about potentially representing the country of his birth.

However, the England manager was keen to stress that he has made no promises to the 19-year-old.

Martin O'Neill explains why Declan Rice hasn't been included in the Ireland squad

"If I was the England manager, I would be speaking to a young player who was showing ability like...

"I think it's fair to say I have spoken with him but I have not promised anything because I don't think that's right," Southgate told reporters.

"It would be easy whether you are with club or national association to promise people things but I can't promise players who were with us at the World Cup that they will be involved in six months' time.

"It would be wrong of us to be arrogant and think people will just come and play for us because we are England but really I think when you invest in a player at a younger level you hope there is an emotional tie formed.

"All I would say for Declan is I think the boy is in a really difficult position now and I'm extremely conscious of that. He has to make a decision...I think it's important that he is allowed that opportunity."