Jack Wilshere is well-known to Premier League followers, having made his competitive debut for Arsenal – at 16 years and 256 days – against Blackburn almost 11 years ago. He begins the 2019/20 season again desperate to make an impact, having so far been peripheral in his first year under Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham United.
It is 18 years since the nine-year-old Wilshere joined the Arsenal academy after a short spell with the Luton Town youth set-up. Two loan spells elsewhere – with Bolton Wanderers in 2010 and Bournemouth for the 2016/17 season – highlight the fact that he never truly fulfilled his significant potential, with a succession of injuries curtailing any momentum he ever built under the departed Arsène Wenger. Despite flashes of outstanding quality at both club and international level – Wilshere has 34 England caps, and went to both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 – he was permitted to leave by Unai Emery when his contract ran out last summer.