Arsene Wenger believes that Jack Wilshere is close to reaching his best form, while the young midfielder has taken time to lavish praise on his midfield cohorts.
The England international was pivotal to Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday producing his most swashbuckling display since returning from his lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Speaking after the 2-0 victory, the boss not only hailed Wilshere’s performance on the pitch but also his attitude in training.
“I have still to be cautious but Saturday was the first time I have seen him very, very close to the player he is. Yes [we've got] our young old Jack back.
“He analyses well his game and is very demanding with himself,” Wenger continued. “He works hard in training, he is a worker.
“He’s an enthusiastic player – he goes for the challenges the day before a game. I don’t hold him back because I think it is good to have that attitude. When the best players have that attitude, you have always a chance.
“I believe the surprising thing for me is that he is in advance [of his scheduled recovery]. I expected him to be back next year in February, at his best. He looks to be there much earlier than I expected him to be.”
Having run the show against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday the 20-year-old also took time after the game to analyse the blossoming partnership between himself, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.
“Mikel’s great,” he told Arsenal.com. “Tactically his positioning is probably the best around.
“He’s an older player, so he’s great for the younger players to talk to on and off the pitch.
“I speak to him during the game. I say ‘Mikel if you want to go forward, I can sit.’ It’s quite a good understanding. He knows I want to get forward and try and get on the scoresheet. He’s the same. At Everton, he was our most attacking midfielder. I think it’s a bit of both. But I think he lets me go [forward] a bit more than he does.
“With Santi in front of us, and me and Mikel getting forward, I think it can really blossom over the next few months.”