By 90Min
March 23, 2018

Sam Allardyce sounded like someone fawning over their school crush when he spoke glowingly about Jack Wilshere on the radio on Thursday.

The Everton boss revealed that he has always 'admired' the Arsenal star and, coupled with the Toffees' alleged interest in contract rebel Wilshere, appeared to imply that he would do his upmost to bring the midfielder to Goodison Park this summer.

Less than 24 hours later, however, and Wilshere's decent return after a spate of injuries in the past couple of seasons ended when he was forced to pull out of England's squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy due to a knee injury.

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

It is yet another setback that should have Allardyce performing a massive U-turn on his intention to sign the 26-year-old. Everton cannot afford to have sick notes taking up space in their squad and cash from their owner Farhad Moshiri.

There's no doubt that Wilshere is a talent. He wouldn't have broken into Arsenal's senior set-up when he was 16, have numerous caps for the Three Lions, won trophies or been labelled as the brightest player of his generation if he didn't.

What the upcoming out-of-contract Gunners star also has, however, is a history of lengthy injury absences and concerns over his fitness levels.

A broken leg, ankle niggles and a fractured foot have all resulted in Wilshere missing a whopping 84 matches in the past five seasons - the longest of which kept him out of the entire 2015/16 campaign.

Coupled with his apparent weight issues and tendency to enjoy alcohol and a cigarette or two and it doesn't make for great reading.

Wilshere may have turned his diet and fitness levels around in the past year or so in an effort to convince Arsene Wenger to offer him a fresh contract as his current deal expires at the end of the season.

But his latest injury will hinder any chance of a new Arsenal contract - and a move to Everton should now be included along with it.

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