At 28, Jack Wilshere should be in the peak of his career; instead, you feel as though the former Arsenal man is saddling up for a pint at the last chance saloon.
After another injury-ravaged season which saw the midfielder muster just 212 minutes of competitive football, Wilshere has recently been linked with a move across the pond to the United States. You feel that would signal the end of his career.
The West Ham number 19 burst on the scene with both Arsenal and England in his early twenties but injuries have followed him throughout his career, and it was hoped that those were behind him when he penned a three-year deal with the Hammers.
Unfortunately for Jack, and West Ham, they have lingered with him throughout his time in east London.
Perhaps most frustratingly is the fact that a fully fit Wilshere is comfortably our most creative outlet, we have seen in flashes that his vision and spark can carve open a defence like a knife through butter, but it has all been few and far between.
It was a calculated gamble for the owners and Pellegrini when the West Ham-supporting midfielder agreed to join on a lengthy contract.
Of course, this was a deal that sparked controversy between the board and the manager at the time with David Sullivan initially wanting Wilshere to join on a one-year deal before being persuaded by the Chilean to offer him a longer-term deal.
Wilshere himself has conceived that his West Ham career hasn’t been what he had hoped for when he joined the club, admitting that he feels that he hasn’t repaid the faith the club had shown in him.
But with the high wage he is on, it must be looked at as one of the biggest mistakes Pellegrini made, in hindsight, those wages should have been spent elsewhere.
The amount of attack-minded players that were added by the Chilean is possibly the reason we find ourselves now looking under the cushions of the sofa for any shrapnel we can find to sign must needed reinforcements.
As stated previously, though, if Wilshere can buck the trend and get himself fit and firing for a whole season, it would be worth keeping him around.
He will most certainly have a point to prove as he enters the final year of his deal, and he will need to impress in order to achieve either a new contract at West Ham, or to convince another club in England or in Europe to take a chance on him.
There is no doubting his ability, and it may well be a case of using him in a different role.
Be that off the bench or using him as a starter in a ‘quarterback’ role. Picking the ball up deep and threading balls through to our speedy wingers in Bowen.
That would, of course, mean he would be playing deeper and with Rice (fingers crossed) and Soucek cementing their place in the centre of midfield, and Anderson and Fornals you would expect fighting for that ‘number 10’ role it is hard to see where Wilshere fits in.
It then begs the question of Wilshere’s desire, would he be willing to sit on the bench at this time of his career, especially if he remained fit? You’d have to guess no.
So, what next for Jack Wilshere? I think it is time for West Ham to try to shift him off our books, and reinvest either in new players (defenders preferably) or put Wilshere’s wages into tying Declan Rice down to a long-term deal and making him our main man.
It is time to mark it down as another Sullivan, Pellegrini and Husillos failure and move on, which is a real shame because I, like a lot of other West Ham fans were hopeful and excited at the prospect of Wilshere roaming around the Irons midfield causing carnage.
Of course, he could still yet prove me wrong and here’s hoping he does, but in reality, we all know it will be another season in the treatment room for Jack.