For the first time since April, Jack Wilshere has made three consecutive Premier League appearances – and he is enjoying his football once again.
Wilshere, the Arsenal midfielder, had his season cut short in 2016-17 due to a fracture of his left leg suffered while on loan at Bournemouth. A collision with Tottenham’s Harry Kane was the cause of the injury, and it was expected Wilshere would be out of action until the early stages of 2017-18.
This expectation turned out to ring true as Wilshere did not play a competitive game this season until September.
Since then he has featured sparingly for Arsene Wenger’s side – getting his most regular appearances in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup – though in the last few weeks Wilshere has worked his way into Wenger’s first string.
He was rested for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup defeat of West Ham on Tuesday having played all three of their previous Premier League matches – the last two as a starter – and it appears Wilshere is now considered an important member of the Arsenal playing squad once again.
And such an improvement in his fortunes has Wilshere enjoying football once again, and feeling that the work he put in over the summer is finally paying off.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Wilshere said: “I’m enjoying it. All of those long, lonely days in the gym over the summer are starting to pay off now. But I know in football anything can happen, so I’m not looking too far ahead.
“I know better than anyone that anything can happen in football; when things are going right, something can go wrong.
“At the moment I’m positive – I’m fit and enjoying my football – I’m waking up in the morning with a smile on my face.”
On the same day talkSPORT interviewed Wilshere, his Arsenal teammate Tomas Rosicky announced his retirement from professional football.
The pair featured many times together in the Gunners’ midfield – Wilshere made his senior debut two years after Rosicky was signed – and the former shared some of his thoughts on a player he considers undervalued by many outside north London.
“Me and Tomas had a great relationship,” Wilshere continued. “Unfortunately we spent a lot of time in the gym together; he struggled with injuries throughout his career.
“For me, and this is no lie, he is one of the best I’ve played with – in terms of me as a player, looking up to him.
“He picked the ball up in midfield and wanted to drive and hurt the opposition.
“I think he’s really underrated – maybe that is because of injuries – but I know the Arsenal fans love him.”