Jack Wilshere backed to shine at World Cup by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

The midfielder could be returning to fitness at just the right time

Arsène Wenger insists Jack Wilshere will be at full fitness for England at the World Cup, and could be “the positive surprise” of the tournament.

The Arsenal manager also believes the midfielder could yet play a role in the club’s push for the FA Cup and a Champions League place, despite Wilshere not seeing any game-time since suffering a hairline fracture to his left foot during the friendly with Denmark on 5 March. While that would still seemingly leave the 22-year-old short of sufficient matches to develop sharpness ahead of Brazil, Wenger revealed he had already informed England manager Roy Hodgson that would not be the case.

“I told him Wilshere will be available for England,” the French coach said. “He will be just polished for England.   I think that he [Hodgson] will pick him. I didn’t feel any doubt on that front.

“He has started to jog again this week. I would say [Wilshere will return in] two to three weeks. He could be back for the [end of the season], maybe before.”

Wenger also believes this latest recovery will see Wilshere finally overcome the recurring injuries that have frustratingly hampered his career.

“I hope he has stabilised now. We have seen with [Leo] Messi recently, who is the best player in the world, that being in and out is the most difficult thing to deal with, as you need to be competitive, and to be competitive is to be always in the competition.

“He has been [stop-start] this year and last season. I think we have sorted out the problem and I hope from now on he will be always available.

“He can be the positive surprise [at the World Cup].”

Wenger maintains it is only injuries such as Wilshere’s that have extended the gap between Arsenal and the title challengers.

“If you look at teams like Liverpool, we beat them twice this season and Liverpool benefited from a season where they played only the Premiership, not any other game. If you take the injuries plus all the competitions we have played in and compared it to Liverpool you cannot say that we are miles behind them.

“We had injuries together in the same area, as we had Wilshere, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Mesut] Özil, [Theo] Walcott all out together. I think no matter how many players you add to the team you have a problem. You see Yaya Touré  has not played [on Wednesday] at [Manchester] City and everyone said, ‘Yaya has not played’ [as a reason for the 2-2 draw with Sunderland] but he is just one player. We had four or five players out in the same area.”

Hull City v Arsenal is live on  Sky Sports 1, kick-off 2.05pm

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada