Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere had an “ideal” return to full action in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Doncaster Rovers, but still needs to be featured gradually back into the first team.
Wilshere was one of Arsenal’s bright players in the 1-0 win at the Emirates and completed 90 minutes for the Gunners for the first time since September 2014 — a three-year period interrupted by injuries and last season’s loan spell at Bournemouth.
“I wanted to leave him on to give him 90 minutes, and overall I think it was an ideal game for him tonight to gain confidence and fitness,” Wenger said. “We’ll see after that how he responds. I think you have to put this game into perspective as well, it did not exactly have the intensity of a Premier League game. But it’s important for him to build him up gradually.”
“He had a kick behind his knee at halftime. In the second half he got another kick. I don’t think it’s big. It looks to me a kick, not more than that,” Wenger said.
Wenger said Sanchez should be prepared to start Monday’s Premier League game against West Brom, but was more cautious when asked how soon Wilshere may be included in his league lineup.
“I don’t know, we’ll go game by game. We play next week three games … so I’ll have to balance the teams and to see who I play and where,” Wenger said. “For me he’s available now to play, and the decision I will have to make is when to play him. He needs 90 minutes at that intensity repeatedly.
“After that he will soon be back. You see that in his movement, it is natural. Everybody is looking at him because of course everybody expects him to come back to his best, and I wish that as well.”
“We started well, and in the first 25 minutes had a good pace in our game and a good flow. And we slowly lost a bit our cohesion and our speed in our passing and it decreased our level,” Wenger said. “After that we did the job even though we did not have anymore the style we want to play and the flair to kill the game off.”
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