West Ham: What can Jack Wilshere offer the Hammers?

(Photo credit: Ronnie Macdonald)

After months of speculation, Jack Wilshere has signed for West Ham on a free transfer following his departure from Arsenal.

Wilshere has left the North London club after a 17-year spell at the Emirates to join their derby rivals in Stratford. 


Once acclaimed to be England’s top prospects, his career has taken a detour due to various long-term injured he suffered that effectively stopped his development.

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With the end of Arsene Wenger era at Arsenal, West Ham came to help the 26-year-old midfielder to get his career back on track.

But the benefits of the move could be mutual. RealSport look at how Wilshere can be utilised by Manuel Pellegrini.

Wilshere suits Pellegrini’s attacking style

West Ham under Slaven Bilic looked like a team that didn’t know how to win a football game. Counting almost exclusively on some individual highlights from Marko Arnautovic or Manuel Lanzini was a path down to nowhere and eventually, at some point, relegation loomed over West Ham. 

Although, with the arrival of David Moyes the Hammers avoided the Premier League exile, the owners decided a new approach is needed anyway.

Under Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham will try to play more aggressive, attacking game. Wilshere, who has long been identified with so-called ‘Wengerball’ – the pleasant-to-the-eye football Arsene Wenger tried to play at Arsenal - seems like the man for the job.


Wilshere is a well-renowned box-to-box player who, when fit, could dazzle opponents with his dribbling skills and creativity.

One of the highlights of his career was the sublime goal scored against Norwich on 2013 when he first initiated and then finished a spectacular link-up play with Oliver Giroud. This is what Wilshere can bring to West Ham.

Performing best in the number eight position in a 4-3-3 formation, he can create an effective and efficient duo coupled with Manuel Lanzini, and finally bring some exciting football back to London Stadium.

And, thanks to his passing ability, he can finally sort out West Ham’s midfield that can lead to making a better use of the Hammers’ prolific strikers. Javier Hernandez, an ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid striker, often looked left alone struggling upfront last season. 

The playmaker

Lanzini, arguably West Ham’s best player, will be sidelined till December which is a blow to the creative force of the team. 

However, at Arsenal, Wilshere played with number ten on his back and it wasn’t only because of his father-son relationship with Wenger.


Wilshere’s got vision and is capable of threading a dangerous through ball. He’s also quick and can pose a danger from the counter-attack as seen in that memorable performance against Barcelona in 2011.

Of course, Wilshere hasn’t exactly developed as everybody expected him to since then due to his injury struggles. However, it remains a showcase of the kind of skillset the 26-year-old possess.

Often clueless last season, fit Jack Wilshere with a clean slate in a new environment should give an extra dimension to West Ham’s attacking options this season.

Grit and character

That question directed to Arsenal fans, what they think of Tottenham during the FA Cup parade in 2015, has become one of the most memorable moments of Wilshere’s career at the Emirates.

He obviously was scolded for the indecency of the chants. However, he made Arsenal fans believe his commitment to the club as well as showed his, sometimes troubled, character and grit.

Off the pitch he was considered ‘one of Arsenal’s own’. He would try to make a rapport with the fans and show his loyalty and devotion.


He would also stand behind his teammates and occasionally even get involved in altercations with opposing players after hard challenges.

Wilshere also wasn’t the kind of player at Arsenal who would lazily wander around the pitch – an argument Arsenal fans occasionally make, deservedly so or not, against Mesut Ozil.

He tends to run and work his socks off. That kind of attitude could revitalise the mundane West Ham side from the previous seasons. 

As for a free transfer, the London club made a really clever transfer move in the now demanding transfer market.

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