Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere Arsenal

Forward Manchester United and England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has backed Gareth Southgate for not picking Jack Wilshere in his 23-man World Cup squad.

Ferdinand said that the Arsenal midfielder had not made any sort of huge impact during the 2017-18 season and that the midfielders that have been selected to go to Russia are far more deserving.

Ferdinand said: ‘Why would you take him? I didn’t disagree with the midfield choices he took. He can count on all the others physically.

‘I don’t think there’s an argument. He hasn’t played enough football and hasn’t influenced enough games in the way that those guys have over a sustained period of time.

‘I’ve been there with teams where we’ve had players coming in a little bit unfit and it does leave uncertainty in a squad.

‘Even with Wayne Rooney, Becks in 2002, it can destabilise a squad. However small it is it does spread.

‘If you’re going to play him in an attacking midfield role he doesn’t add up to someone like Dele [Alli], someone like Jesse [Lingard], in terms of getting goals and assists or making things happen in the final third. His stats can’t live with them.’

When the England squad for the World Cup was announced, Jack Wilshere showed his disappointment at not being selected but the Arsenal midfielder kept a calm head on his shoulders and claimed that even though he thought he deserved a spot but he respects Gareth Southgate’s decision.

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