Relaxed Wenger ‘has spoken to Wilshere’

8 Apr

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (right) and Jack Wilshere

Wilshere (left) will play for Arsenal Under-21s on Friday

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has played down midfielder Jack Wilshere being pictured on a night out last Sunday.

Wilshere, 24, has only recently returned to training having not played this season because of a broken leg.

“I’ve spoken to him. It looks to be taken out of proportion a little bit. These are matters we like to keep internal,” said Wenger.

“There was no training session the next day. I had a day off. You can accept players go out.”

England midfielder Wilshere will play in an under-21s game on Friday as he steps up his recovery after breaking his left leg in August 2015.

“What is positive is that he works very, very hard,” added Wenger. “The news looks quite good. I think he will have a good test on Friday.”

‘He’s a real football brain’

Wilshere’s career has been plagued by leg and ankle problems since he first sustained a stress fracture during pre-season in 2011, which left him sidelined for 15 months.

He had two operations last season after injuring his left ankle against Manchester United in November 2014.

England manager Roy Hodgson has not ruled Wilshere out of his squad for Euro 2016 but Wenger says he is “a bit cautious” about the player’s return to fitness “because of his history”.

“At the moment I believe he’s a real football brain, Jack Wilshere. He loves football,” said the Frenchman.

“He’s very serious, very dedicated. The only thing that could stop him from having the career he can make is injuries.

“He had the history of his injuries. It’s been bad recently. But I hope he can get rid of that and make the career he deserves.”

Iwobi in contract talks

Wenger praised the impact Alex Iwobi, 19, has had since breaking into the first team and revealed talks over a new deal with the forward are under way.

Iwobi has scored two goals in his last two Premier League games.

“We are discussing it at the moment, to extend it,” said the Gunners boss. “He is a real Arsenal person because he’s been here since the age of eight.

“He has three years left at the end of the season but we want to keep him here longer.”

Iwobi plays for Nigeria and Wenger added: “There’s a possibility he will go to the Olympic Games and the African Nations Cup and travel a bit more. We have to respect his choice.”

Ramsey and Flamini in contention

Arsenal, who are 11 points behind top-flight leaders Leicester with a game in hand, could have midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini back after injury to face West Ham on Saturday.

Ramsey has been out with a thigh problem, while Flamini was out with a hamstring problem.

“As long as mathematically it’s possible, there’s a strong possibility [of catching Leicester],” said Wenger.

“You look at the difficulty of the Premier League, they have been remarkably consistent, but every game is very, very tight, so that can go the other way as well.”


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