Manuel Pelleigrini compares Jack Wilshere to Andrea Pirlo before Arsenal clash
Jack Wilshere will face his former club Arsenal this weekend for the first time ever
Jack Wilshere's West Ham career has got off to a disappointing start, as the club lost their opening two games of the season to Liverpool and Bournemouth. But he is at least fit, and newly appointed Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has faith in the midfielder to hit form this season.
Pellegrini's comments come after Unai Emery said Wilshere chose to leave Arsenal in order to become the 'protagonist' of West Ham's new era at the London Stadium.
Wilshere will be facing his old club without club captain Mark Noble by his side this weekend, but Pellegrini believes Wilshere can play the sitting role in the same way Andre Pirlo once did for AC Milan, Juventus and Italy, whether Noble is playing beside him or not.
"If you need good technical players that do not lose any balls, then they can play together," Pellegrini said.
"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.”
Pellegrini continued, explaining that Wilshere must be allowed to play his natural game.
"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's progress has stagnated over the past few years due to a series of injuries, but Pellegrini believes he still has time to fulfil his potential despite his age of 26.
"I think everyone praised Jack Wilshere not just for one game because if he could play in a normal shape without injury, he was always a player who makes a difference because he is a different player,” said Pellegrini.
"I am sure (we will see that Wilshere again) because he is just 26 years old. Because he knows better how he must manage his physical work, so as not to be injured. This season we are working with him from July 1, 40 to 50 days, and he’s not having any problems.
"He just has to recover his trust in what he can do. Maybe his career was not all his top (form), because he had a lot of injuries. So I think at this moment we must give him trust, let him play, because I repeat what I said: he is a different player and he will do it.”
Wilshere will be determined to show Arsenal what they're missing this weekend, as both clubs search for their first win of the Premier League season. West Ham travel to the Emirates tomorrow for a 3pm kick off.