Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino has given his opinion on Jack Wilshere’s chances of making the England squad for this summer’s World Cup, insisting the Arsenal midfielder is too much of an injury risk.
Wilshere was forced to withdraw from the England squad for Friday’s friendly against Netherlands, having picked up a knee tendon injury in training.
He was also unavailable for the clash against Italy at Wembley on Tuesday, casting further doubt over his chances of making the World Cup squad.
The 26-year-old last played for his country in the disastrous 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016. Since then, the closest he has got to adding to his thirty-four caps was as an unused substitute in games against Scotland and Spain in November that year.
Wilshere’s career has been blighted by injury for several years. He surprisingly made the squad for Euro 2016, despite playing just three times for Arsenal during the 2015/16 season, and went on to appear in three of England’s four matches.
The worst of his injury problems seemed to be behind him and the 26-year-old has played thirty-one times for his club this season, in all competitions.
However, failing to stay fit after being called up to the England squad for the first time in over a year could spell the end of his World Cup chances for this year.
One person who believes that to be true is Cascarino.
Speaking to talkSport at the weekend, the former Ireland striker admitted Wilshere is too much of a risk for England boss Gareth Southgate to consider taking him to Russia.
“He hasn’t got injured in a game; he’s got injured in training. Now, that never sits well with managers.
“I think most of us will look at Jack and go; ‘Yep, fabulous talent and can do a lot of things a lot of midfielders can’t’.
“Unfortunately for him, he’s in that horrible situation where, if you’re not fit, managers can’t pick you.
“I don’t think Gareth will consider taking someone [to the World Cup] who is high risk. And that is not only from games, but from training getting injured.”
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena