After a flurry of activity, the summer transfer window has slowed down, perhaps not coincidentally at the same time as the main summer tournaments, the Confederations Cup and UEFA U-21s, have ended. The media, though, still have headlines to create, newspapers to sell and clicks to get, so we're left in the ridiculous position where Jack Wilshere's answer to a question in a Q and A session becomes a major transfer rumour.
The Q and A, conducted in New York City by David Hirshey of ESPN FC contained some fairly interesting nuggets; the most interesting, to the press association, was Wilshere's answer to questions about Wayne Rooney (and Gonzalo Higuain).
The second question posed to Wilshere was whether he was "excited about the prospect of Gonzalo Higuain joining the club", to which Wilshere answered:
I've never played against him, but anyone who plays for Real Madrid and Argentina has to be quality.
A simple answer. Wilshere probably doesn't know much more than what Arsenal fans know through reading the papers and watching Sky Sports News. Obviously, he's aware of the interest in Higuain, but even if he did know more, it's very unlikely he'd say much more.
Wilshere was then asked about more transfer targets, to which he said "players like Higuain", which set off some excitable fans on Twitter. Remember, the interest in Higuain has already been established, and it was already asked of Wilshere during the session; it seems obvious to use him as a reference point. Then, the topic of Wayne Rooney came up. Wilshere was asked about his thoughts on the potential transfer of Wayne Rooney to Arsenal, which he responded:
If it happens, it would be amazing. He's the type of player who can win you trophies. And just to see his name on the team sheet brings fear to the opposition. We could do with a little more of that.
Again, there's not really that is revealing here. England's Jack Wilshere in wanting other England player to join Arsenal-shock. And whatever Wilshere's feelings are on Rooney (and one suspects he is probably voicing his opinions here), he wouldn't publicly besmirch Rooney, his international colleague. And, really, whatever Wilshere's thoughts are on Rooney, they won't, and shouldn't, influence Arsene Wenger one bit.
Sadly, the most interesting bit of the Q and A session was left out of most reports, so I'm going to quote it here:
One of the many strengths of that team was the exquisite midfield balance that Arsene Wenger orchestrated even if it meant leaving out Robert Pires or Freddie Ljungberg. Do you see that as an issue with you and Santi Cazorla?
Remember, last season was Santi's first in the Premier League and he adapted brilliantly. He was probably our best player last year, but he and I are still learning each other's games. I think we work best when I'm sitting deeper and he's playing ahead of me like Cesc did during our first season together. But Cesc is a different type of player from Santi. Cesc would pick up the ball deep while Santi likes to play in tight spaces. But Santi and I are developing a good rapport and I think it'll get even better this season.
The most crucial part of that answer is the difference between Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas; Fabregas dropped deep, whereas Cazorla didn't. Because Fabregas dropped deep, Wilshere was able to get forward more and not affect the balance of the team, which didn't happen in the midfield trio of Cazorla, Arteta and Wilshere. However, Wilshere also came into the team without a preseason; this season, with a full preseason, we might get a better understanding between Wilshere and Cazorla, and that trio could possibly work.