Interview

‘A super-fit Jack has to be in the England squad’

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere has not played for England since the national side lost 2-1 to Iceland at Euro 2016.

 

It was possibly the least satisfying of Jack’s 34 appearances for his country - but a 35th could be on the way.
 
There were question marks over Jack’s fitness at the start of the season but, according to Arsene Wenger, he’s now primed to perform at any level - including glamour friendlies against Germany and Brazil later this month.
 
“Personally, I think he’s ready,” said the boss. “He was not three weeks ago but he is today. He’s ready. He’s competitive. In every single competition, he’s ready to play. I would encourage him to do it. And I don’t know how you can keep a super-fit Jack out of the England squad.
 
“I spoke to [England manager Gareth Southgate] about Jack before the Swansea game. I don’t know if he will be called up. He just asked me how he is and I said no restrictions. He’s in a very good way.

“I am convinced it would help Jack, personally. When you have been so frustrated so many times, every positive experience is welcome. It would be a positive as well because you have the World Cup and you have a new manager who has not called him up yet, so that for certain would play a positive part in his head.”
 
Jack played at Euro 2016 at the end of an injury-hit season, but Wenger understands why he was selected for that tournament.
 
“You always think even if he comes on he can give you a little trick or a little dribble. Jack has a quality that is very difficult to get together. He can dribble and he can as well give the final ball. You don’t find that a lot in the same player.
 
“He has seen it all before. You are always tempted to take these kind of players even if they are not 100 per cent. And I think he is better shape today than he was during that period.”