LONDON — Jack Wilshere has now started three-straight Premier League games for Arsenal for the first time since October 2014.
His long road to recovery often seemed like it would end in despair but Wilshere is showing plenty of promise as he shakes off the rust.
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The 25-year-old England international is doing his chances of getting a new contract no harm whatsoever, as his current Arsenal deal runs out on July 1, 2018.
At times in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool on Friday he struggled to cope with the pace of the game but he was always scrapping away, always trying to get on the ball and always trying to create.
Wilshere got caught in possession on a few occasions and was maybe at fault for Liverpool’s second goal as he seemed to let Mohamed Salah run free, but he dug deep and helped drag Arsenal back into the game.
Asked by Pro Soccer Talk if Wilshere’s display impressed him, Wenger was full of praise for the central midfielder.
“I think he was one of the players who played with quality even in the first half, determination” Wenger said. “You know Jack, he is never frozen as always. What he did in the second half was like the rest of the team. Yes, I like what he did. He is better now than he was in the last two to three years. I think it is positive overall and he is in a very good shape in the moment.”
Is that enough for Wilshere to be handed a new contract soon and are talks planned?
“It might. We will see. As well, we had four players tonight who have been educated at our academy with Niles-Maitland, Bellerin, Iwobi and with Wilshere. We are certainly the only ones at the top [doing that] but basically we want to keep these players,” Wenger added.
The midfielder has always said he would like to stay at Arsenal, the club he’s been at his entire career after making the step up from their academy.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Wilshere is happy with where he’s at right now.
“I’m fit now, I’m enjoying my football and I’m happy,” Wilshere said. “I’ve played three games now, I feel good. I’ve played a lot of Europa League games. I am ready to take part. It has been a while since I’ve been available for Arsenal in the Christmas period. I’m excited. I want to play. I want to give my all and help the team get up the table and into the top four.”
Wilshere’s awful luck with injuries has been well documented but he finally seems to be settling into his old rhythm and showing flashes of the classy deep-lying playmaker he was when he burst onto the scene as a teenager.
Don’t give up on Wilshere just yet.