Jack Wilshere’s return from serious injury continued apace on Monday night as he played a starring role in the Arsenal Under-21’s 2-0 win over Reading.
The England midfielder was making his second appearance in his comeback following 14 months on the sidelines through a series of injury setbacks.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be delighted with his progress so far, and Wilshere certainly looked more comfortable than his initial outing last week in the loss to West Brom reserves, even playing a major part in the two goals.
It was also an opportunity for Arsenal to send out regular first team right-back Bacary Sagna in his first game since recovering from a broken leg, while another young midfielder, Emmanuel Frimpong, also continued his return from long-term injury.
There were a number of impressive Gunners youngsters on show, but new Arsenal No.10 Wilshere was the pick of the lot and, along with Frimpong, controlled the game for most of the 74 minutes he was on for.
The home side took the lead shortly before half-time at Barnet’s Underhill Stadium, when good work from Frimpong allowed Wilshere to play an nice pass to Thomas Eisfeld and he found his compatriot Serge Gnabry – the 17-year-old finished the flowing move with a delightful curled finish.
Gnabry has been hotly tipped for a bright future at Arsenal and showed why by tormenting the Reading defence for most of the evening.
Wilshere was provider once again when the Gunners doubled their lead just before the hours, this time with a corner that was flicked on by Ignasi Miquel for Chuba Akpom to power home from close range.
Wenger will be pleased with Wilshere’s progress so far and he could well decide to give the 20-year-old his first team return against the same opposition, when Arsenal travel to the Madejski Stadium for their Capital One Cup fourth-round clash.