Arsenal Transfer News: David Moyes Confirms January Interest in Jack Wilshere

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

West Ham United manager David Moyes has confirmed "Jack Wilshere would be someone who we’d have to look at if he was available," ahead of the January transfer window, per Paul MacInnes of the Guardian.

Moyes is trying to drag the Hammers out of the relegation zone in the Premier League and admitted signings this winter could make all the difference, according to MacInnes.

It's also probably not a coincidence Moyes would reference Wilshere ahead of West Ham's game at home to Arsenal on Wednesday. The Hammers are targeting another win against a top-six side after beating third-placed Chelsea 1-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Moyes may well get the chance to see Wilshere make his first start of the league campaign. The 25-year-old could step in for Aaron Ramsey after manager Arsene Wenger confirmed the latter will miss out with a hamstring problem, per the team's official website.

Wilshere could be called upon to replace injured Ramsey.
Wilshere could be called upon to replace injured Ramsey.Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Wenger also recently indicated Wilshere is ready to feature more often after the midfielder's imperious display during the 6-0 win over BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League, per James Benge of the London Evening Standard.

If Wilshere is used, the question is which position will he play? It will depend on what formation Wenger deploys against the Hammers.

The Frenchman could stick with the 3-4-2-1 setup he switched to late last season. If so, Wilshere would play one of the two central midfield berths, most likely alongside Granit Xhaka.

It would be a deeper role for Wilshere, one requiring him to steadily build possession. Such a role is one Benge favours for the England international:

However, Wilshere has often played better in more advanced positions. His technique, quick feet and eye for a pass are more prevalent behind the strikers.

Wilshere gave a superb example of his value in this area during the win over BATE, when he scored and recorded an assist playing as a classic No. 10. Charles Watts of Football.London identified how the switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation freed Wilshere:

"Jack Wilshere sat the deepest of the four, playing the quarter-back role while Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck providing the width either side of Olivier Giroud.

"The interplay between the quartet was excellent, especially between Wilshere, Giroud and Walcott - who combined several times to excellent effect down the right hand side."

The difficulty for Wilshere is how to play in an advanced role away from the cup competitions. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez operate off the front in the league, a situation unlikely to change, even with the duo out of contract next summer.

Sanchez and Ozil are Arsenal's first choices in the areas where Wilshere does his best work.
Sanchez and Ozil are Arsenal's first choices in the areas where Wilshere does his best work.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Wilshere's deal is also expiring, but Wenger has previously made it clear he won't look to sell the playmaker before then, per Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph.

Wilshere spent last season on loan at Bournemouth, but he's too valuable to Arsenal's options in the middle when the club is still competing for a top-four finish, has reached the last 32 of the Europa League and will face West Ham in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.

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