By Harvey Byrne

Benik Afobe has claimed that former Arsenal and current Bournemouth teammate Jack Wilshire is one of the top five left-footed central midfielders in the world.

The duo were team-mates at the Gunners between 2001 and 2015, when Afobe eventually left permanently for Wolves after six different loan moves.

Afobe, 23, impressed in the Midlands and eventually earned his move back to the Premier League with Bournemouth in a £10million deal last January.

Wilshere, 24, joined Afobe at the south coast club on deadline day this summer on a season-long loan deal after returning from a serious injury in the last campaign.

Afobe believes that the England international is one of the best in the world in his position and has said that Wilshere is determined to return to previous form.

“I’m not just saying this because he’s a mate of mine but Jack is one of the top five left-footed central midfielders in the world,” said Afobe to the Sun.

“I hope he goes out there and proves me right this season. I know he is determined to show exactly that. I see his passion and desire.

“He wants to work hard every day. He knows his injuries have sometimes been a setback for him but there is no question his ability is ridiculously great.”

Wilshere joined the Arsenal youth set-up from Bedfordshire outfit Luton in 2001.

He made his debut for the Gunners in 2008 against Blackburn and broke Cesc Fabregas’ record as the youngest-ever league debutant at the age of 16 years and 256 days.

Once considered a huge part of the England national team’s future, Wilshere has struggled with injuries in recent years playing in just five matches for the Gunners in the past year.

In other Arsenal team news, forward Alexis Sanchez believes he has the same ability as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.