Arsene Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere to make England’s EURO 2016 squad insisting the player should be at peak fitness by the time the tournament starts on 10 June.
Roy Hodgson has room for 12 midfielders and forwards in a squad of 23 and hasn’t ruled out calling up the Arsenal man if he can prove his form in the final weeks of the season.
While Wilshere, 24, won’t feature against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow evening, he could be called upon in the Gunners remaining games with Sunderland, Manchester City, Norwich and Aston Villa.
Speaking on Wednesday, Wenger was optimistic about his player’s chances of travelling to France, revealing: “Wilshere has absorbed well his first obstacle. That means get games and finally get 90 minutes. The positive is that he had no setbacks.
“In every game he was sharper, he has a good fitness basis. The progression now should be normal and he is available for selection from the next game (Sunderland) onwards.”
He continued: “Yes [he has enough time] because he has not played three games already. The European Championship starts on June 10 and until then is nearly two months. If you look at his fitness at the moment, in two months he should be perfectly fit.
“If he has no setbacks he would not be a gamble.”
Wilshere scored against West Bromwich Albion’s under-21s on Monday night having also played for Steve Gatting’s young Gunners against Newcastle and Swansea in recent weeks.
If he gets first team minutes in the last few matches Wilshere’s challenge is to deliver the kind of eye-catching performances that saw him quickly win back his England place last summer.
Wilshere didn’t feature for the Gunners between November and May in the last campaign but stormed back to action in the final five games; performances that delivered him Match of the Day’s goal of the season gong and an FA Cup medal. He went on to anchor the England midfield against Slovenia, scoring two stunning goals in a 3-2 win.