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Jack Wilshere Tipped by Xavi to Become One of World's Best Midfielders

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2015

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal looks on during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and VfL Wolfsburg at the Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Spanish icon Xavi has proclaimed Arsenal's Jack Wilshere as "the future of English football," claiming the midfielder can go on to be one of Europe's top players.

The Barcelona legend noted the Gunners' involvement in developing the player's talents, saying "he doesn't play the English way," as quoted by the Mirror's John Cross:

If he had a career that had been injury-free we would already be talking about him as one of the top central midfield players in Europe.

I have played against him, I have watched him carefully, and if he can overcome injuries, then he can still go on an be one of the best midfield players in the world.

With all respect, he doesn’t play the English way.

He has an excellent passing range, an ability not to lose the ball, it is clear that he has had his education at Arsenal.

For many years now the one position England have not struggled with is world-class midfield players. Scholes, and then more recently Lampard and Gerrard.

Now I see Wilshere as the future of English football, that is why it is so important they keep him fit.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Lionel Messi of Barcelona is challenged by  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal   during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2011 in London, Englan
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 35-year-old's comments will come as a boost to the England international, who has not featured this term due to an ankle problem, per Sami Mokbel of the MailOnline. 

The talented midfielder only started nine games in the Premier League for the Gunners last season, according to WhoScored.com. His injuries have forced his career to stall after exceptional promise.

Wilshere has failed to start more than 20 league matches in a season since 2012, and he has fallen down the pecking order after the arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere lies injured during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS

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ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

The player recently described the hardship and bad luck he has faced in recent times, but said he is on the comeback trail, per Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday (h/t the Mirror's James Whaling):

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[The recovery is] going well. It’s frustrating, of course. I think mentally this one was the toughest to take because I had a good pre-season and it was literally the day before the Charity Shield. I was ready, I was fit, I was in the team and I was going to play then all of a sudden a tackle and I was out. I’m pain-free now, I’m out of the boot, I’m off the crutches and I’m moving around now which is good.

Camp Nou full-back Dani Alves previously stated he believed the player could be the heir to Xavi's throne at the Catalan club.

David Kent of the MailOnline reported the Brazilian's comments to the Telegraph where he stated he was impressed by Wilshere's displays, saying he would sign the midfielder for his club side if he had the power. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal receives treatment before being substituted with an injury during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Hull City at Emirates Stadium on October 18, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo b
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The 23-year-old has been incredibly unlucky when it comes to being fit and healthy, but his career at Arsenal will be questioned on his return to action.

Manager Arsene Wenger has one of the most talented midfields in Europe, and it is difficult to see where Wilshere now fits in.

The Gunners need to address the defensive duties of their core, and Wilshere has qualities in this area. However, he is not a defensive midfielder by trade, despite his ability to retain the ball in deeper areas of the pitch. 

The player will not be allowed to develop as an attacking force, as the likes of Ozil and Sanchez retain their positions further up the field, forcing Wilshere to be patient as he waits for a starting berth to materialise. 

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