It was always set to be a make or break year for Jack Wilshere as he returned from his loan spell last season with Bournemouth in the summer, with the intention of somehow finding his way back in to Arsene Wenger’s plans.
Wilshere has one year left on his current contract with the Gunners, and amid talk that there is a new deal on the table, it seems that Wenger wants to see proof first that the midfielder’s injury nightmare are a thing of the past.
Wenger ready to make the gamble?
In an exclusive interview with French outlet, beIN Sports, the Arsenal manager spoke about the current situation surrounding Wilshere.
“Jack Wilshere struggled historically with repeated injuries and no one could question his talent, nobody would question his exceptional ability to beat people with the ball”, stated Wenger.
“But in this job you need to have health. The requests and demands of the competition, physically, are so high and you can only be at your best if you can play at least 10 games on the trot. That’s what’s at stake for Jack Wilshere”.
Potential opening in the team in the coming months?
The England midfielder, now 25, has already played a handful of games for the Gunners this season, including appearances in both the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup. Though with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of star playmaker, Mesut Ozil, it seems there could be plenty of playing time on offer for Wilshere.
“He needs to keep his health and be capable of competing. If he can play from now until December at the top level, he will be back. If he has other set-backs then it will be more difficult”, Wenger claimed.
“It’s a vital season because he is nearing the end of his contract, it’s a World Cup year and he has been an Arsenal player since he was a kid, so all that’s at stake for him and for us as well because you’d love a player like him of that quality to come back.
“In fact he had a very good game against BATE Borisov, especially a brilliant first half, where he was back to his best, so he’s not far away now. Let’s hope in the next two or three weeks he can play regularly in the first team.”
Wilshere could be part of the Arsenal squad that travels to Watford this Saturday evening, when the Premier League returns after the International break, in what is set to be another big month for Wenger’s side with a double-header against Manchester City and Tottenham round the corner.