By Amir Mir
Glenn Hoddle has said that Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley can no longer hide behind their “young and promising” tag, as he urged them to deliver for their clubs.
Wilshere, 24, made a deadline-day move to Bournemouth on a season-long loan, as the midfielder aims to get games under his belt following an injury-plagued 24 months.
Barkley, like Wilshere, was dropped from England manager Sam Allardyce’s first squad to face Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
But the ex-Spurs man turned pundit feels the two midfielders have to now prove themselves as they enter a crucial stage in their careers
“There is no hiding from the fact that he [Wilshere] is no longer a young, promising player,” Hoddle said in his column for the Daily Mail.
“He’s 25 in January. Nor is Ross Barkley in that category any more. He will be 23 in December and approaching the time where you would expect him to exert maximum impact.
Barkley, 22, has made four appearances in all competitions this season scoring two goals and providing one assist.
Wilshere has made 27 appearances in all competitions in the last two seasons, but the versatile midfielder did feature on two occasions this term for Arsene Wenger’s side before being sent out on loan.
Hoddle admired the abilities of the two Premier League players and believes England “crave” for players like them.
“Many times over recent years we have looked at these two players and thought they might be the future of English football,” said Hoddle.
“They are players with technique to match some of the best, instinctively comfortable on the ball and capable of producing something special. And how we crave players like that as a nation.
“Yet now Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley can’t even make the England squad, let alone the team, and in Wilshere’s case he has to go out on loan to a club who may well be involved in a relegation battle, just to get a game.”
Hoddle believes both players will be able to live up to their potential though. “This season we might begin to get a fuller picture of what they can be. They don’t need to burden themselves with living up to the tag of being England’s future. Just get a decent season under their belt. That way, step by step, they can begin to fulfil their potential.”
Barkley will now prepare to face his former manager David Moyes at Sunderland on September 12.
Wilshere will be hoping to make his debut for Eddie Howe’s side as they take on West Brom at Dean Court on September 10.
In other Arsenal team news, this striker tried to convince a Tottenham midfielder to join the Gunners this summer.