Jack Wilshere injury played down by Arsene Wenger after problem ankle inflames

 

Arsene Wenger has played down fears over Jack Wilshere's fitness after the Arsenal midfielder suffered inflammation to the ankle which kept him out of action for more than a year.

Wilshere was left out of the Gunners starting line-up for the goalless draw at Aston Villa and was an unused substitute.

But boss Wenger insists it is only a minor problem and is happy with Wilshere's progress since his return to the side, ahead of the midweek clash at Everton.

When asked how the England international was progressing, Wenger said: "First, it's a relief that he's had no setback (since returning to action).

"He had a little bit of inflammation of scar tissue (in the ankle) but it's nothing. It's very minor.

"The rest (against Villa) will help him get rid of it. Apart from that, he has done very well.

"He has not played for 17 months. People forget what that mean. Seventeen months in a career is massive.

"But I'm very happy with the way he is progressing."

Wenger remains convinced winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will develop into "a great player" after he looked below his best at Villa Park.

He said: "Alex has not played a lot recently. He lacks a bit of physical fitness. He tried at Villa and in patches he looked dangerous.

"He's learning his trade and he's a very talented young boy. I believe he will be a great player but at the moment he is learning his job.

"Basically, he's 19 years old and there will be ups and downs, of course, but I believe he will be a great player.

"You need patience with every young player or you don't bring them out (see their potential fulfilled).

"That's why it's so different in our job where you see the demands of people who want you to bring young players out but also they have no patience so it's a bit of a contradiction."

Wenger has promised to spend wisely the extra money available after the extended £150million shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates which was announced on Friday.

He said: "It (the deal) means the people who invest in us believe we are doing things in the right way.

"So it's first a credit in the way we do things and, after that, we will try to use the money intelligently."

Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny insists ambitions are higher merely than a Barclays Premier League top four finish.

He said: "We are outside the top four so our first target is to reach that top four. But our ambitions are much higher than that.

"We have managed to get a couple of good results recently. We need to climb the table and hopefully do well in the other competitions as well.

"I think in the last two matches before Villa - against Tottenham and Montpellier - offensively we played really well.

"We had a few disappointing performances before that, so it's important we get back to that level and I think we are in a good position to do so."

Szczesny is aware of the importance of the clash at Goodison Park.

He said: "It will be a six-pointer. It will be a very good game for us to win. We managed to get three points last year and it was a really tough match.

"We are confident we can go away from home and dig out the points."

PA

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms