Since both produced stellar performances in their teenage years and both happen to apply their trade in Arsenal colours, Arsenal fans have long wondered whether these two exceptional talents could produce the good while on the pitch at the same time. Wilshere, the Arsenal golden boy has been earmarked for exceptional success from his academy days while Ramsey was captain of his country at the young age of 20. But will there ever be a time where they can both be on the pitch at the same time and yield positive results?
As stated in the aforementioned paragraph, Wilshere has been touted to lead his team and his nation to success. Since winning the Youth Cup and playing a starring role for Arsenal in his teenage years, Wilshere has established himself as an Arsenal hero. His combative nature paired with his silky ability on the ball means he endears himself to all types of fans. In recent years, Ramsey has demonstrated how important he has been to this Arsenal team. Developing chemistry with Ozil in front of him, he has a knack for turning up at the right place at the right time and delivering the goods when most needed. His two FA Cup winning goals are a testament to this and proof of his unique quality of timing his runs to perfection. But for all the years these to have been together at the club, the Gunners faithful have rarely been treated with seeing them on the field together.
For all their natural talent, both have had their careers significantly shortened by injuries. Wilshere’s combative style, although easy on the eye, makes his susceptible to inevitable injury while Ramsey seems to pick up muscular injuries when entering a purple patch of form. However, there is no doubting that their individual skill-sets could be extremely beneficial to the team if put in the right system.
Arsene Wenger has an affinity for both players so it isn’t impossible that we see both in the team at the same time. Wilshere likes to control the middle of the park and control the tempo of the game from midfield. Since the everlasting injury of Santi Cazorla, Arsenal have severely missed this aspect of their game and have been overrun by teams in the past. Ramsey, on the other hand, likes to make himself an additional option closer to the strikers and as a result, is likely to score more goals. Such complimentary talents should work well with each other, but only if there is a viable defensive midfielder to operate behind both for when attacks break down in the middle of the field. Both aren’t the quickest so pairing them as a midfield duo would be suicidal, but with additional defensive cover, this could work.
With some sort of rendition of a 4-3-1-2 where both play either side of a defensive midfielder and just behind Ozil (providing he stays past this season), this is the only way I could see the two in the team at the same time. They both can’t be regarded as young prospects anymore and should be coming into the best years of their careers with the ages that they are at. It is time for both to meet their amazing potential and be the talent that Arsenal fans know they’re capable of being.
With all that being said, Wenger hasn’t shown an affinity for change in recent years and if this does come to fruition, I feel it would most likely be in a midfield two. While this offers a multitude of options in the attacking third of the field, relegating Wilshere to the deepest midfielder on the pitch won’t utilise the skills that he possesses. Hopefully, in the future, we as fans can be treated to a string of games where we see them perform side by side, where we see their skills shine and the team succeed.