Jack Wilshere says he 'never gave up' on an England recall

Jack Wilshere says it is an honour to play for England and he always believed that his ability would earn him a recall

Jack Wilshere says he "never gave up hope" of a recall to the England team after he was included in Gareth Southgate's squad for the first time in 16 months.

The Arsenal midfielder last featured in an England squad in November 2016, when he was on the bench for games against Scotland and Spain.

Wilshere's last appearance for his country was under Roy Hodgson in England's 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

As a result, Wilshere has never played under Southgate, but the manager has now seen fit to include the 26-year-old in his plans for England's friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy this month.

Following his recall, Wilshere said: "It's always an honour to play for my country - I've said that many times.

"I never gave up hope - I believed in myself and I believed in my ability. It was just about getting games in the Premier League, as the manager said.

England's Jack Wilshere runs beyond Turkey's Ozan Tufan during the international friendly match at the Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2016
Image: Wilshere hopes to repay Gareth Southgate's faith in him

"I've done that and now it's down to me to repay him."

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Asked whether he ever felt his chance of adding to his 34 caps had gone, Wilshere replied: "No I wouldn't say that. As I said, I always believed in myself.

"There was always that little bit of hope that I'd get back in there. I put the pressure on earlier in the season and the manager made it clear what he wanted me to do.

"I've done that and it's down to me to repay him and prove to everyone I can still perform at that level."

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