Jack Wilshere has got his wish. After telling Arsene Wenger that he was ready to play against Norwich this weekend, the Arsenal boss has included the midfielder in the squad for the trip to Carrow Road.
There is no way that Wenger will start Wilshere against Norwich, he only completed his first 90 minute match in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Chelsea on Wednesday, but there is an outside chance he could make the bench.
It looks like Wilshere’s first start for Arsenal since May 2011, will come in the Capital One cup next week at Reading.
Asked if the Reading game could be perfect for Wilshere to return, Wenger said:
“Yes. I hope it all goes well until then. He needs one more game, maybe Monday night with the reserves, then he should be back.
“There are two aspects. One is the apprehension to go into challenges when you have been out for so long. On that front we are at 100 per cent. We even have to calm him down. He goes for every challenge. Then you have the match fitness — he is 80 per cent.”
It also looks like Wenger and England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce are about to cross swords once again about Wilshere. They have clashed several times in the past about Wilshere’s availability and fitness for England and Pearce has recently said that Wilshere could benefit from playing in the Euro 2013 finals next summer (in an England side that Pearce manages).
But Wenger does not see the point of Wilshere dropping down to the U-21s, having already made five appearances for the full England side.
“I never believe that a player, once he has gone up to the top team, plays well with the Under-21s. It does not exist – I have not got one example,” he said.
“That is why I believe England has to make a decision – is Jack in the first team and not in the Under-21s?”