Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere is showing positive signs in training, and is hopeful he can make a contribution to the season ahead, but insists it’s all about keeping fit.
The midfielder hasn’t started a game for the Gunners since May 2016, a 4-0 win over Aston Villa on the final day of the season, and is still on the way back from yet another injury – sustained at the end of last season when he was on loan at Bournemouth.
Wilshere is in contention to come into the side as Wenger rotates his squad ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, and while cautious is hopeful he can rediscover something close to his best.
“If you have seen the video of when he played against Barcelona, you know what his game is about,” he said.
“He needs this little burst to get away from people because he can turn the game forward. If you can turn the game forward you need your legs to get you out of the pressure. That will come back for him, I believe. It’s coming back in training.”
“Jack is very hungry and very determined. He is also not completely at his best but he is getting there every week. I think he enjoys being back and enjoys competing for his place. What I see in training is positive.”
“When he began his rehab I was on tour with the club but since I came back I have observed him more. I know Jack well enough; he analyses every training session to see how he has done.
“He has a football brain, you don’t need to tell him much on that front, but I speak to him of course about how I see his evolution.”
It’s the injuries that have been his downfall more than anything else, and his future remains unclear as he’s in the final year of his contract, but maybe there’s a chance for him to secure a new deal if he can impress when given the chance.