West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini thinks that Jack Wilshere shares likenesses to Italian midfield legend, Andrea Pirlo, as the midfielder prepares to return to the Emirates for the first time.
Former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has said this week that he thinks that Wilshere and Mark Noble are both too slow to play together in the heart of the Hammers midfield.
However, responding to Big Sam’s comments, Pellegrini said in his pre-match press conference: “If you need fast players they cannot do it. But if you need good technical players that do not lose any balls, then they can play together.
“A lot of you will remember Juventus around four or five years ago, they played with one holding midfielder. It was Pirlo. And Pirlo is the same as Jack. He has the same characteristics as Jack.”
While Pellegrini recognises that Wilshere isn’t your traditional defensive, tough tackling midfielder, he thinks that his qualities make him ideal to link the sides’ defence to the midfield and attack:
“I think that Jack Wilshere must play as Jack Wilshere. He is not a defensive midfielder to hold the line. He is a midfielder more comfortable when he comes out from our side and not receiving the ball back from the other goal.
“You must leave him to play alone, the play the moment, to receive the ball because he is going to make things happen.”
Wilshere moved to the London Stadium earlier this summer on a free transfer from Arsenal, and will quickly make his return to the Emirates this weekend as the Hammers visit the Gunners, with both sides looking to pick up their first points of the season.