The Hammers’ hierarchy must have known they were taking a gamble when they signed Jack Wilshere. After all, why would Arsenal let a player who had won the goal of the season in consecutive terms, won the PFA Young Player of the Year and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for 2010/11 leave for nothing?
Gunners fans watched on with grimaces as the highly-rated central midfielder sustained injury after injury until Arsene Wenger decided he had had enough, and the Englishman was not offered a new deal to remain at the Emirates Stadium. The 28-year-old did briefly appear to get over his injury woes during a loan spell with A.F.C Bournemouth which saw him make 27 Premier League appearances, but Arsenal remained unconvinced.
Given the promised he displayed in his early career, the fact he appeared to have regained fitness and momentum with the Cherries, along with being a lifelong West Ham fan, it is not surprising the Hammers elected to take a punt on bringing Wilshere to the London Stadium. Though what was a total and utter oversight was handing the England international a three-year contract.
When the equally injury-prone Andy Carroll returned to Newcastle United, he was offered a one-year deal on a pay as you play basis. West Ham must be kicking themselves watching on as the English striker has made 17 Premier League appearances this term, with the Magpies incurring no risk while giving him an incentive to get back to first-team action. Meanwhile, the Irons are reportedly forking out 100k a week to keep Wilshere on the treatment table in East London.
This term the 28-year-old has made two starts, and featured for a total of 212 minutes, if his yearly salary is £5.2m, then the central midfielder has cost David Moyes’ side over 24k per minute this season.
Wilshere’s injury record speaks for itself, and it has been disastrous since moving to West Ham, causing him to miss 53 matches. The 34 cap England international has been available so infrequently for the Hammers that his impact has been nothing short of negligible, featuring for 601 Premier League minutes since arriving.
When deciding to sign Wilshere on a free transfer the West Ham board must have been aware of his injury record and their decision to bring him in on a three-year deal regardless has been an incredibly costly one. Even if the midfielder can turn his time at the London Stadium around in the final year of his deal, the decision to hand him a three-year contract has proven to be incredibly naïve.