Arsene Wenger says Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is making strong case for England recall
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 31/12/17 5:08pm
Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere is close to earning an England recall after impressing for Arsenal in recent weeks.
Wilshere has fought his way back into Wenger's plans this season after recovering from a broken leg, and the 25-year-old midfielder demonstrated his qualities as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park on Thursday.
England manager Gareth Southgate has previously overlooked Wilshere, citing concerns over his fitness, but Wenger believes the midfielder has done enough to be considered for an international recall.
Asked if it had become hard for Southgate to ignore Wilshere, Wenger said: "Of course. Jack has some great qualities, especially when we lose the ball, he's the first one to put the opposition under pressure. He has really improved the defensive side of his game.
"His positional play is very good. You watch football and you see the way he uses the right positions. Football is first about being in the right position on the pitch, where to stand.
"That is why I would rather talk about that. Let's give him credit for the way he has come back. He deserves a lot of credit. Overall, we have to pay him a lot of respect.
"It's all nicey, nicey when you are super-talented when you break into the first team at 17 but to come back to that level after injuries, that shows his desire."
Arsenal travel to face West Brom on New Year's Eve, live on Sky Sports Premier League, when Wenger oversee his 811th fixture as a Premier League manager - breaking the previous record held by long-time rival Sir Alex Ferguson.
"First of all, I feel lucky to have been at the club for such a long time," said Wenger. "I've worked very hard every day of my life. Maybe people underestimated me.
"In modern society it is more demanding: there are more opinions, more questions. But I've always set high standards and there is nobody harsher on myself than me."