Arsene Wenger believes crocked star Jack Wilshere could be back in the next few weeks if he suffers no setbacks, with the Gunners boss eyeing a mid-February return for the talented midfielder.
The England international suffered a nasty ankle injury in the 2-1 loss to Manchester United back in November after a lunging, last ditch tackle from Paddy McNair ruled him out for at least three months.
The 23-year-old has had a persistent problem with injuries since breaking into the Arsenal first team, but will be hoping his return next month can put the worries behind him.
Wenger revealed the some positive news on Wilshere’s injury situation, he told the media ahead of today’s FA Cup clash with Brighton:
If he has no setback instead of being back the end of February, he could be back in mid-February.
Unfortunately Wilshere will continue to be susceptible to these impact injuries due to the nature of his game. He likes to run at players, go gung-ho into challenges and draw fouls. But hopefully he can be a little more lucky going forward and smarter with some of his own decisions as all these set-backs are hugely affecting what is a promising career.
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It appears Wilshere’s return could affect someone else’s future, with Francis Coquelin reportedly stalling on signing a contract extension until he can gauge a clearer picture of how he stands in the first team.
The Frenchman has been superb since his emergency re-call from his loan with Charlton Athletic, and with just five months left on his current deal, Wenger has to convince the 23-year-old his future lies in north London despite the vast amount of midfielders at the managers disposal.
It will be a bit of a juggling act, but clearly Coquelin’s influence has been vital in Arsenal conceding three consecutive clean sheets. Arsenal clearly need an all action shield for the defence who likes to get his hands dirty but has the energy and pace to keep up with the best midfielders in the league. While it is certainly early days to confirm whether he can make the defensive midfielder role his own, Wilshere’s return should not really influence Coquelin as the Englishman is best in the box-to-box role.
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