Jack Wilshere finally on track for Arsenal first-team return, says Charlie Nicholas
Last Updated: 25/09/17 7:52pm
Charlie Nicholas believes Jack Wilshere is finally on track to becoming a first-team regular at Arsenal once again.
The injury-troubled 25-year-old, who has started just one Premier League game for the Gunners since the start of the 2015/16 season, completed 90 minutes in Arsenal's 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Doncaster on Wednesday night.
It remains to be seen how involved the midfielder will be in the Monday Night Football visit of West Brom, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm, but Nicholas is just pleased to see his career moving in the right direction again.
The Soccer Saturday pundit told Sky Sports: "For the first time in a long time I think the signs are swaying towards him getting first-team football again and earning a role in Arsene Wenger's squad.
"He won't start against West Brom and it will probably take him a lot of time to get over his first 90 minutes, when he was probably man-of-the-match, but if if they can get 2-0 up then the crowd would certainly love to see him get 20 minutes.
"Then on Thursday night, against BATE Borisov, I'm looking at him getting another 90, so he's on the right track.
"A lot of people have said he won't get into the team because of Mesut Ozil but he doesn't necessarily have to play there, but he'll get opportunities in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup."
Find out what Charlie is predicting in his Arsenal v West Brom RequestABet here.
Nicholas believes that Wilshere is still a valuable asset to Arsenal and says he deserves credit for his perseverance in coming back from a string of major injuries.
He added: "None of us, in all honesty, think he can get back to where he was four or five years ago because the injuries have been so severe, but if he can get close to that then he's still worth keeping.
"Is he a better footballer than Granit Xhaka? Yes. He's certainly better than Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin, and things are starting to fall in place for him where he's going to get opportunities.
"Even Tottenham fans would have to acknowledge he's shown remarkable determination to bounce back again and he's got too much talent for Arsenal to give up on him.
"He went to Bournemouth to get playing time and maybe it didn't go quite as well as he would have liked but he showed the willingness to keep trying.
"Put it this way, I'd much rather Wilshere was on the bench than Elneny or Coquelin."
Play Super 6
There's £250k up for grabs in this weekend's Super 6. Enter your predictions for free here.