Regarded as one of the brightest midfield prospects in English football as a teenager, a succession of injuries have robbed the 26-year-old of the continuity needed to make good on his early promise.
Now, according to reports, Arsenal are scouring the transfer market for central-midfield reinforcements as they prepare for Wilshere’s exit from the Emirates at the end of the campaign.
However, conflicting claims suggest Arsène Wenger is hopeful the England international will sign a new long-term deal with the club.
But, having enjoyed regular action on the red and white side of north London for the first time in some years, clocking more Premier League minutes than he’s managed for the Gunners since 2013/14, has Wilshere done enough to earn a new contract?
We’ve taken a look at the playmaker’s stats compared to his positional rivals in the Arsenal midfield to find out.
The former Bolton Wanderers and Bournemouth loanee’s great strength throughout his staccato career has been his ability to progress the ball through midfield, owning a fine range of passing and a degree of creativity.
However, as the above graphic shows, Wilshere has fallen behind most of his midfield colleagues in key metrics that measure a player’s progressiveness and creativity.
Indeed, when it comes to the amount of forward passes Wilshere is making per 90 minutes this season, his average of 15.19 falls behind Aaron Ramsey (15.44), Granit Xhaka (22.99) and Mohamed Elneny (18.03).
He is also creating fewer chances on average than Elneny and Ramsey, with his return of 0.71 open-play key passes per 90 lower than the Egyptian (0.79) and the Welsh international (0.91).
The expected goals assisted per 90 (xA90) metric measures the quality of chances a player creates, using historical data to assess how likely a shot-creating pass is to lead to a goal.
Wilshere’s 0.05 xA90 again falls short of Elneny (0.06) and Ramsey (0.11).
While the talent is and always has been there, it looks like time is finally running out for Wilshere, and Arsenal are already equipped to cope without him.