On Saturday at Wigan, to the delight of Arsene Wenger, he combined technical acumen with bravery.
Never better illustrated than during the first period when he timed a sliding challenge on Shaun Maloney to perfection, only to be cautioned by referee Jon Moss.
"I think it was a foul on Wilshere by Maloney. It looked a perfect tackle. I think he was a bit provoked by the crowd reaction," said Wenger.
"I like Wilshere. After 25 minutes you look at him and he is dirty from top to bottom."