England Don't Need Jack Wilshere at Euro 2016

19/05/2016 17:12 | Updated 10 June 2016

Injuries have been the thorn in Jack Wilshere's side for most of his professional career.

In fact, he has suffered a major injury in each and every season for Arsenal since breaking into the first team. This season has been no different, with a broken fibula ruling him out from August 2015 to April 2014. That is a lot of football.

But that isn't where the line is drawn in Wilshere's inactivity. In the season previous to that, he suffered ankle ligament damage in November 2014, with surgery ruling him out for ​a big chunk of the campaign stretching into the new year.

Overall he managed only 14 appearances that year. In the last two seasons, he has played a total of 26 games, which begs the question: does Wilshere possess so much ability that England cannot afford to be without him in France this summer?

To take it to an extreme - if Lionel Messi, Thomas Mueller, Andres Iniesta or Antoine Griezmann had missed an entire season for Argentina, Germany, Spain and France, you can have no doubts that they would still receive a call up to a major tournament. Unfortunately, despite many high hopes, Wilshere has not yet transformed into that kind of talismanic figure that England cannot afford to be without. And his injury woes are largely to blame for this.

For a player that has been with the Arsenal academy since he was nine years old, with the potential he had growing up, to have only just recently made his 100th league appearance for the club at age 24 tells you all you need to know about his hampered progress as a footballer.

To put that into perspective, Ross Barkley just turned 22 and already has 114 league outings.

The trouble with missing the amount of football that Wilshere has is match fitness. He has likely kicked less balls this season than the number of Netflix series he has binged in the eight months he was absent for.

And it doesn't matter if you're Lionel Messi, Thomas Mueller, Andres Iniesta, or Antoine Griezmann: any footballer who misses eight months of action is going to be significantly rusty physically and off-colour mentally.

The Euros in France this summer could potentially be one of the most testing and competitive major tournament in years, especially now that we know referees will be taking note of a player's behavioural history, and subsequently clamping down on any shenanigans.

Wilshere has done commendably well to recover from what was undoubtably a frustrating time, considering his initial blow was only supposed to rule him out for a month, and make his comeback for Arsenal. He has now been selected by England boss Roy Hodgson for the preliminary 30-man squad, but he is simply not ready for the tournament.

He may very well boost his match fitness further by featuring in England's pre-Euro friendlies, but he needs more than a handful of games. Despite starting his last two Premier League games for Arsenal, the fact Wenger was reluctant to keep him on the pitch for longer than the hour mark shows he has a long way to go before he is ready to go for the whole 90.

And who is to say rushing him won't cause him to break down again? There is no doubt if we were talking about Wayne Rooney instead of Wilshere, Hodgson would be breaking down brick walls to ensure he was ready for England, but Rooney has proven in his career that he can be vital to the team, whereas Wilshere, despite being hailed as a creative spark, has not- even when fully fit.

If you're judging him on his attacking qualities, then it's important to point out that Englishman Ross Barkley bettered his all-time goal tally of six goals in this season alone, while Dele Alli equalled his all-time assist tally of 12 in his first full season too.

With regards to the deeper positions in midfield, England have the likes of Jordan Henderson, Danny Drinkwater, James Milner and Eric Dier- all of which have enjoyed fantastic seasons and deserve to go to France.

Rooney has also shown himself to be more than capable of playing in a deeper role in recent times at Manchester United, and may well be deployed there with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy ahead of him in the pecking order up front.

Wilshere is still young. He has a long career ahead of him, and certainly plenty more major tournaments to come, but England would not miss him at Euro 2016 with the depth of quality options Roy Hodgson already possesses in his position. Therefore, gambling on Wilshere would not be a risk worth taking, nor one that needs to be taken.

He should instead focus on stepping up his fitness for Arsenal in order get regular games under his belt for the 2016/17 season to put his fitness issues behind him for good.

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