This Transfer Battle sees us rate the fortunes of one player, Jack Wilshere, and his stints in both Bournemouth and West Ham.
The 27-year-old has had a long career so far, where he has gone from one of England’s brightest hopes to seasons where he has barely played. His career has had highs and lows, so let’s compare Wilshere’s stint at each club…
After only managing three games in all competitions for Arsenal in the 2015/16 season, Jack Wilshere was loaned to Bournemouth for the 2016/17 campaign.
The Cherries were entering their second season in the top flight, and had an exciting manager in Eddie Howe. This was expected to be the perfect place for Wilshere to showcase his talents and revive his career. The Bournemouth fans, and indeed the Arsenal fans too, were hoping that the midfielder would be able to put his injury woes behind him.
The season turned out to be a strange one, as, on one hand, he went through the season without facing the injury problems that he had in the past. On the other hand, he did not play particularly well either. Wilshere did not exactly play badly, but perhaps he never lived up to the expectation. He started just over half the Premier League games that season, managing just two assists.
He returned to Arsenal the following season with some fans at the Vitality Stadium scratching their head.
TT Grade: C+
West Ham signed Wilshere from Arsenal for free last summer, bringing an end to his ten-year association with The Gunners.
The midfielder had managed just 12 starts in the Premier League the season before, and with his mentor and long-term manager Arsène Wenger also leaving that summer, Wilshere’s days at The Emirates looked numbered.
The Hammers signed Wilshere with the same hopes that Bournemouth had two seasons before; that he would put his injury problems behind him and prove what a class player he is.
Unfortunately, Wilshere has already spent a lot of time on the sideline this season, which included having surgery. He has failed to establish himself at the London Stadium thus far, but the staggering thing is that he is only 27 years of age. He still has plenty of time to replicate some of the majestic performances that he had produced for Arsenal in his younger days. That is why this is not an entirely bad transfer.
TT Grade: B
Ultimately, West Ham win this battle because they secured Wilshere permanently, but did not have to spend a penny. Neither did Bournemouth, to be fair, but they only had him for a season.
Loan deals often make it a worse deal as there is no security over the player’s future, no matter how well he performs.
The fact that West Ham have signed Wilshere long-term means that there is still hope that he can be the player that Arsenal and England fans dreamed he would be.