England manager Gareth Southgate shortlisted his 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday morning and it’s arisen that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere – according to a report published by The Telegraph – has failed to make the former Middlesbrough captain’s final cut for this summer’s tournament, a revelation which has left many baffled.
Though the 26-year-old playmaker was included within Southgate’s initial 35-man squad which was submitted to Fifa on Monday evening, his resurgent efforts on the turf for the stuttering north-Londoners this season have ultimately been deemed insufficient, despite brandishing his flair and creativity adroitly throughout the 2017-18 campaign.
During England’s last meeting in March, prior to friendly encounters against Holland and Italy, Wilshere withdrew from the national fold due to a minor knee injury and Southgate, though the tournament was then months away, appeared to suggest that the Arsenal man’s chances of making the definitive set-up in June were exceedingly thin.
Southgate has previously questioned Wilshere’s underlying fitness and reliability, and though the diminutive craftsman’s career was once blighted with hampering spells on the sidelines, he’s been much more of a regular and integral member of Arsene Wenger’s matchday contingent of late.
However, Southgate seemingly believes that Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, who has been sporadically deployed as an auxiliary left-back by Pep Guardiola, is a worthier option to compliment his midfield roster, a perplexing preference which has undoubtedly deprived England’s engine room of ingenuity, vision and dexterity on the ball.
Although Wilshere isn’t the only notable casualty, as City’s Joe Hart is also set to miss out on a ticket to Russia after enduring a hapless season on loan at West Ham United, a woeful temporary stint in Stratford which would have drastically dented his hopes of manning the sticks for his country, even at a third choice capacity.