Arsenal v Sunderland: Arsene Wenger backs Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for World Cup and claims there's is 'no gamble' if Wilshere is fit

Midfielder is nearing a return to fitness after suffering a foot injury in the international friendly victory over Denmark in March

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not feel it would be a gamble for England boss Roy Hodgson to take Jack Wilshere to the World Cup - provided the midfielder is "completely fit".

Wilshere is closing in on a return from the fractured foot suffered while on international duty in the friendly against Denmark on March 5.

The combative midfielder had originally been expected to be in contention for this weekend's Barclays Premier League game against West Brom, but now the final match at Norwich looks an outside possibility at best ahead of the FA Cup final on May 17.

Hodgson indicated he would have no qualms about naming Wilshere in his 30-man squad, and given England have three warm-up matches and a training camp, he feels the 22-year-old will have enough time to get himself in shape ahead of the Group D opener against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

"It is not a gamble if he is completely fit. It is a strengthening of the (England) team," said Wenger.

 

"If there was a medical doubt then yes it would be a gamble, but I think he will be completely safe and on that front medically he should be all right."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another Arsenal player hoping to be on the England jet to Brazil.

The midfielder missed Monday night's 3-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium because of a niggling groin problem, and Wenger maintains his return will not be rushed.

"Chamberlain at the moment has an inflamed groin. We will see how he progresses," Wenger said.

"For the World Cup he should be okay, for us, will he come back for the end of the season? I don't know."

Defender Kieran Gibbs is set to resume full training shortly following a hamstring problem.

Read more: Wenger confirms Wilshere nearing return
Wenger wants correct FFP punishments from Uefa

Right-back Bacary Sagna is a doubt because of a knee problem.

The France international is out of contract in the summer and as yet there have been no developments on the club's offer of a new deal.

"It is in his camp so he can give you a much better answer than I can," Wenger said.

"I would like the players to stay for more positive reasons, not for fear of failing somewhere else.

"You want the players to be part of this club.

"I believe that is something we are keen on here is to help players to love the club and stay for the good reasons, for the football we play, for the values we rate and for being part of the club that is special.

"You want the players to stay for that and the ambition we have."

Read more: Arsenal can secure fourth this weekend
Mertesacker laments unaffordable 'big game defeats'

Wenger himself is out of contract in the summer and so theoretically could be set to take charge of his final home match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Frenchman joked: "There is always a chance because none of us know how long we will live, but on my desire, no, there is no doubt."

Arsenal could be secured of a top-four finish should Everton be beaten by Manchester City on Saturday and Wenger insists his side are looking up.

"For us it is to finish as close as possible to the top and to win our remaining games," he said.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before