Injury-plagued Jack Wilshere is ready for a return to the England squad despite featuring sparingly this season, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger decalred today. Wilshere's last England cap came when he appeared as a substitute in the shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland at EURO 2016 which led to Roy Hodgson's departure as manager.
Wilshere is ready to compete at the highest level
However Wenger believes that now’s the moment for the midfielder to return: “Personally, I think he's ready. He was not three weeks ago but he is today. He's ready. I have the same problem. He's competitive. In every single competition, he's ready to play. I would encourage him to do it”.
Wilshere has played only 15 minutes of Premier League football despite his return to fitness, with current England boss Gareth Southgate in the stands for his brief cameo appearance as a substitute for Lacazette in the 2-5 win against Everton at Goodison last month. He has had to use his opportunities in the Europa League to make an impact and is likely to start once again when Arsenal play host to Red Star Belgrade at the Emirates on Thursday night, knowing victory will secure qualification into the Last 32.
“I can only repeat what I personally think: I don't know how you can keep a super-fit Jack out of the England squad”, Wenger continued. “I manage him like every single player. Since three weeks, he is treated like any other player".
Wenger underlines Arsenal's rotation policy
Wilshere has featured in the Europa League as Wenger selects an almost completely rotated side in Europe and the EFL Carabao Cup. That means the likes of Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sánchez will not be used on Thursday as they prepare for the tough test against Premier League front runners Manchester City on Sunday.
“Both of the teams do well”, Wenger replied when asked about his squad rotation over domestic and European competitions. Even in training, when we play them against each other, it's very tight. I've gone into a rotation policy and I want to stick to that at the moment. I must say that I am pleased with the quality of our performances in every single competition”.