London – Arsene Wenger is convinced Jack Wilshere will quickly regain his best form as he looks to bounce back from his injury lay-off.
The arrival of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club record £42million may have attracted all the headlines in recent weeks, but Arsenal supporters have also been waiting to see Wilshere dominate games like he used to.
The England midfielder is building his way back to full fitness following a 17-month lay-off with an ankle injury. So far, it has been a slow start to the campaign for the 21-year-old. But his manager is not worried by his form.
The Arsenal boss can see comparisons with Aaron Ramsey when he made his return to first-team action following his double leg break.
Ramsey is now one of the star performers for the club and Wenger feels it will only be a matter of time before Wilshere is producing the same kind of displays.
Wenger said: “There are similarities because it takes time to come back to your best physically. I think it is more a fitness problem for Jack than anything else, but that will come back much quicker than the rest.
“Aaron had heavy metal in there and the psychological impact of the injury. It took him a while to get back.
“Fitness-wise, Jack is between 80-90 per cent of his potential. For the rest, he has not a lot to learn: he understands the game, can play anywhere: defensive midfield, central midfield. He is a complete player”
Wenger is set to keep faith with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the defence for today’s game against Stoke, even though Thomas Vermaelen is ready for a first-team return.
Mail on Sunday