Jack Wilshere, rather unsurprisingly, has essentially seen his debut season with West Ham United wiped out by injury.
However, his second half cameo against Southampton on Saturday will likely have set pulses racing amongst the Hammers supporters, as he gave a glimpse of what he could potentially achieve next season.
Indeed, seeing the flashes of quality he produced in the 3-0 win at the London Stadium, it would be hard to argue that he shouldn’t be a major priority for manager Manuel Pellegrini next term.
The 27-year-old entered the field of play after 67 minutes, replacing the largely ineffective Grady Diangana. He had a near-instant impact, producing a beautiful flick that set right back Ryan Fredericks free for the Hammers’ third goal.
He wasn’t on the pitch for long, but he was neat and tidy in everything he did and didn’t look out of place amongst a group of players who had many more minutes under their belt this campaign than he did.
It’s obviously frustrating for the supporters to continually see the England international pick up injuries, but all you can do is hope that things will be different in the future.
It’s hard to criticise his overall game, though, that’s for sure. When he’s at his best he’s a wonderful all-action midfielder who can do a bit of everything. If he can stay fit and if Pellegrini can find the right system to maximise his talents then he could be a vitally important player for West Ham next season.
The prospect of a peak Wilshere linking up with Declan Rice in central midfield is absolutely salivating, and is something that everyone at the London Stadium will be looking forward to after the former’s impressive cameo against the Saints.