- Jack Wilshere set to play for England for first time since Euro 2016
- The 26-year-old is aiming to make an impact against Holland and Italy
- The midfielder has proven his fitness by featuring regularly for Arsenal
Jack Wilshere knows his return to the England fold will be subject to intense scrutiny but the Arsenal midfielder has vowed to repay manager Gareth Southgate for finally recalling him.
Wilshere, 26, has not played international football since England were infamously dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland.
The gifted midfielder has been badly affected by injuries which have restricted his amount of football at club level but Wilshere is now fully fit and firmly back in the first team picture at Arsenal.
Jack Wilshere has proven his fitness for Arsenal and earned a recall to the England squad
He has racked up 31 appearances in all competitions this season and has reemerged as one of Arsenal’s key players, prompting Southgate to call him up for England’s friendlies against Holland and Italy this month.
Now Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth to regain his form, says he is ready to deal with the pressure of a return to international level.
He said: ‘I understand that I haven’t played for England for a while so people are going to be watching me but as I’m confident in my own ability I’m looking forward to it.
‘It has been about proving my fitness to everyone. I don’t think people have ever questioned my ability. Well, some people have!
Wilshere hasn’t played for England since the disappointing Euro 2016 campaign
WILSHERE’S ENGLAND APPEARANCES YEAR BY YEAR
2010 – 1
2011 – 4
2012 – 1
2013 – 8
2014 – 12
2015 – 2 (2 goals)
2016 – 6
2017 – 0
Total – 34 (2 goals)
‘But it’s about proving my fitness and I am confident in myself and my body. I trust in my body and I’m looking forward to the future.
‘Every week you have a point to prove. That’s the industry we’re in. We’re at a level where we are judged week in, week out.’
Wilshere’s last call-up came in November 2016 but he did not make it off the bench for the games against Scotland and Spain.
The 34-cap star insists he did not lose faith after being given a clear route back into the England squad by Southgate, who stuck to his word.
‘He made it clear what he wanted me to do and I’ve done that. I’ve been fit all year,’ added Wilshere. ‘I’m fit and healthy and feeling good, feeling stronger as games go on.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.