Ongoing ankle problems mean Arsenal poster-boy Jack Wilshere is set to feature in just one match of his nation’s upcoming friendly double-header against Chile and Germany.
The fact that the former Luton trainee is understood to be likely to feature against the South Americans, rather than in the more prestigious clash with top-notch foes Germany, suggests that far from being the man the team revolves around he may have to be content with a bit part role in Brazil.
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The Arsenal midfielder is likely to start against Chile in the more experimental of the upcoming friendlies.
Injuries to likely starters Michael Carrick and Steven Gerrard will mean Wilshere is used in what could amount to a seriously left-field Three Lions side.
Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez could both be in line to earn their first caps from the off, while Ross Barkley is another potential starter.
Given the Emirates’ outfit’s physios are keen for their man to play only one of the two games, Roy Hodgson’s decision to pass up the chance to use him against the Germans begs serious questions of his seniority within the squad.
Since returning from long-term injury in 2012/13 Wilshere has started more than five straight games just once.
Continued injury issues are sickening luck for a man who can lay claim to being the classiest midfielder England have produced for some time.
However they have seriously affected his ability to turn in performances like the one that wowed the world in the Gunners victory over Barcelona in 2010/11 on a consistent basis.
As a result setting up a team around his particular playing proclivities could be seen as a poor use of precious time for Hodgson.
No fewer than 12 English central-midfielders have played more Premier League key passes than the Arsenal man this term.
That injury has hampered Wilshere’s ability to consistently influence games is clear by the amount of home-grown players that have had a greater creative impact in domestic action in 2013/14.
Among them Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana may not raise an eyebrow, but the likes of Tom Huddlestone, James Ward-Prowse, Jordan Henderson and Peter Whittingham also lay on more goal-scoring opportunities per game than the young Gunner.