Southgate says Wenger has been playing Wilshere out of position

Date published: Friday 10th November 2017 7:44

Gareth Southgate believes Jack Wilshere is being played out of position at Arsenal and says he is not a No. 10.

The England boss has been forced to pick several fringe players and add new caps after a raft of withdrawals from his squad to face Germany and Brazil and he admits he is uncertain when the likes of Danny Drinkwater or Jack Wilshere might be seen in an England shirt again.

Wilshere has been overlooked for a heavily depleted squad due to a lack of game time at Arsenal and Southgate’s view that he has not been used in his best position in recent seasons.

Southgate sees Wilshere as a deep-lying playmaker but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, who had the 25-year-old on loan last season, have used him in a more advanced role.

Wilshere might also be pondering where he stands by then. Southgate holds him in high esteem but his slide down the Arsenal pecking order and the difference of opinion over his deployment means he may need a new club, a new position or both in January.

“I don’t think Jack is a number 10,” said Southgate.

“I think he is a deeper player but he is not playing deeper. He didn’t play deeper for Bournemouth, you’d have to ask Eddie why that was, and he is not playing deeper for Arsenal.

“You’d have to ask Arsene why he wasn’t at Arsenal last year and you’d have to ask Eddie why he played him as a 10 last year.

“But I want to be clear, I really like Jack Wilshere as a player. I think he is a talent and I really respect him as an individual.

“I am hoping that we are in a position in March where we can pick him.”

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