Boss on Wilshere, Xhaka and Iwobi

Read extra quotes from Arsene Wenger’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham United:

on Jack Wilshere going out on Saturday…I have spoken to him. [The incident] looks to have been taken out of proportion a bit and of course we like to keep these matters internal. This is a completely private matter. For me it's very difficult as well to speak about that because I don't know really what happened. You know as well that he can be provoked. It's not easy when you are well-known today to go out anywhere without creating some provocations. So I am a bit cautious and even if you are known you have the right to go out sometimes.

on whether his full focus is on Wilshere coming back…Of course. There was no training session the next day, he had an off day, and you can accept that sometimes the players go out when they are free the next day or at the weekend. What is positive is that he’s worked very hard. The youth team look quite good so he’ll have a good test [on Friday] night.


on how much Arsenal have missed Wilshere…Look of course it’s difficult to put a percentage on that, but ideally I would have loved to have him available for the whole season.

on when his first Premier League game will be…I don’t know. We will have to see now. I am a bit cautious because of [his injury] history. Let’s not rush it too much and let’s see how he responds to the next game. He has a big part [to play] in the game on Friday night and hopefully he will come through well. I’m a bit cautious with that.

on fulfilling his potential…I believe he has a real football brain, Jack Wilshere, and he loves football… he is very serious and very dedicated. I invite you to come in every day and watch him work. You will understand that he is very, very dedicated. The only thing that could stop him from having the career he could make is injuries. He has a history of injuries, and of course it's been bad recently, but I hope he can get rid of that. Then he will make the career he deserves.

on Alex Iwobi’s contract talks…We are discussing extending his contract at the moment. He’s a real Arsenal person because he’s been here since the age of eight. He has three years left at the end of the season anyway but we want to keep him here for longer. If there have been some positives in the last few months, it’s how well and how quickly he’s emerged as a player with a good impact.

on Iwobi going to the Olympics…We have respect his choice. He had the choice between England and Nigeria and in the end he chose Nigeria. We respect that, and also the possibility that he will go to the Olympic Games, that he will also go to the Africa Cup of Nations and travel a bit more than he would have done here. We have to respect that.

on Granit Xhaka speculation…We are starting to look at people who can strengthen our squad but we are not on any particular case in a concrete way.

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