Jack Wilshere believes his contributions to Arsenal have been forgotten but, after inspiring their 4-2 victory at BATE Borisov, he declared he is “back”.
The midfielder, whose contract expires at the season’s end, also recognises he is playing for his future at the club. His fine performance in Belarus showed he is rediscovering his confidence, and he is determined to earn an extension.
He was omitted from the latest England squad despite a shortage of options in midfield, but having impressed after becoming peripheral at Arsenal, Wilshere was asked if he felt his past had been forgotten, and he said: “Yeah, but that is football. Football is a game where people forget.
“Everyone says ‘you are never fit’ but last season I was fit for the whole season. It was only in April that I got injured. I definitely feel I am back. People say it’s a long road but it was four months (out) and I have had longer than that before. I feel good. People sometimes forget things in football. Last season I had a full season.
“Whether people think I did well, I had a full season, and only picked up an impact injury at the end. That was unfortunate timing but throughout my rehab it went well.
“I felt good coming back to Arsenal and into training and (Arsene Wenger) has been good. He has been speaking to me. You are always playing for your future but I am happy to be back, to feel part of the squad.”
On only his second start of the season, the 25-year-old Wilshere’s vision and creativity provided Arsenal’s most consistent attacking threat, even from an unfamiliar position in the front three.
Arsene Wenger’s recent preference for the increasingly popular 3-4-3 formation suggests he could regain a significant role for the club playing in central midfield.
Having established himself in 2010 he had become peripheral in a team playing to the strengths of Mesut Ozil, and he said: “It is not the right time for me or the club to discuss anything.
“I am back training, it has been a while, and I am enjoying it. I was sat thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I played a European away game (a 2-1 defeat of Anderlecht in October 2014).
“I am fit and healthy and getting back to my best and when the time comes to sit down and talk or not we will see. Do I see myself staying? Of course I do. I love this club. They have been good to me over the years, I have a great relationship with the boss.
“He has played me since I was 17. He has put his trust in me since then. We have a great understanding and of course I want to stay. I haven’t even seen (the latest England squad). When I am fit and playing in the Premier League we will see.”
Source: By PA Sport Staff