Arsene Wenger has defended Jack Wilshere after Roy Keane labelled the England international “probably the most overrated player on the planet” following Arsenal’s Europa League 2-1 defeat to Ostersund.
The 26-year-old started the game as captain but was far from his best – he was eventually subbed off – as a lackadaisical Gunners stumbled to an embarrassing home defeat played out in front of swathes of empty seats.
Ultimately, the result didn’t matter as Arsenal progressed 4-2 on aggregate, but it didn’t stop the former Manchester United midfielder venting about Wilshere and the team’s performance as a whole.
It's safe to say he's not impressed! 👀
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) February 22, 2018
When Keane’s assessment was put to Wenger in this morning’s press conference, Wenger unsurprisingly, went in to bat for his player.
“It’s very difficult to hear. I rate Wilshere very highly. You can have opinions. Jack was in the team last night but did not perform particularly well.
“It was certainly not one of his best performances. Roy Keane knows that it can happen to anybody.”
Wilshere will be out of contract in the summer and earlier in the week, Wenger stressed that he’s eager to see the Gunners Academy graduate sign a new deal at the Emirates.
“That decision doesn’t depend only on me,” Wenger said. “I want him to sign very quickly.
“We are still to make the decision and find the pen somewhere. I’m happy to give him one.”