TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Rumor
Once considered one of the great English talents of his generation, Jack Wilshere has endured more than his share of struggle and setbacks in recent years – and one prominent publication thinks Major League Soccer could put him back on track.
The United Kingdom-based branch of The Athletic dropped a piece on Thursday suggesting that the injury-plagued midfielder could be mulling a move to North America as he endures another rough patch in his winding career.
“Sources have told The Athletic that a switch to the USA appeals to the West Ham United midfielder,” writes Roshane Thomas, the site’s Hammers correspondent, citing “the anonymity, lack of scrutiny, slower pace of football and appeal of being a club’s marquee signing” as factors that have “those close to Wilshere” giving it some consideration. Thomas also includes comments from former Houston Dynamo coach Owen Coyle and ex-Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell on their experiences in MLS.
A product of Arsenal’s once-famed academy, Wilshere turned heads as a teenager and made his first-team debut for the Gunners at the tender age of 16, then earned his first England cap similarly ahead of the curve two years later. Primarily featuring as a box-to-box central midfielder, his diverse skillset and committed mentality led many to brand him as his country’s next big thing and he featured in the Three Lions’ 2014 World Cup squad. He also got a brief taste of MLS as a member of the Arsenal side that took part in the 2016 MLS All-Star Game at Avaya Stadium.
Now 27, he’s lost his way a bit, suffering a litany of injuries and moving to West Ham on a free transfer last year. Fitness has remained a recurring issue for him at the East London club, where he’s in the second season of a three-year deal that apparently pays him £100,000 (US$128,800) per week, lofty wages that could complicate hopes of a move to MLS.