Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere ‘needs years’ before he can rediscover his best form.
The 23-year-old midfielder has suffered an injury plagued career so far, most notably with ankle problems, and Wenger says that the England international needs a sustained period of playing time without injury to get back to his best.
“He needs one or two years without problems to get the full confidence and belief back,” Wenger told BBC Sport.
Wilshere made his long awaited return to the Arsenal team last weekend when he was an unused substitute against Chelsea, having last played against Manchester United in November where he had to be stretchered off following a tackle from Paddy McNair.
The injury came at a time where Wilshere looked to be producing some of his best form for both club and country. Wilshere required surgery following the incident and was expected to be back in February, however he suffered a setback and had to have two pins removed from his ankle.
Following Wilshere’s debut in 2008 against Blackburn Rovers where he became Arsenal’s youngest debutant aged just 16, it was expected he would go on to become an Arsenal and England regular in years to come.
A major setback came in 2011 where a stress fracture to his right ankle caused him to miss 17 months of football, and he seems to have been dogged by injuries since.
Wenger was speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Hull City on Monday night, and he bemoaned injuries throughout his squad have made it hard for the Gunners to compete for the Premier League title.
He added: "We had big injuries at the start of the season and we only got our squad together more recently. Even then we still lost players like Wilshere in November, and then again afterwards. We were not all together.
"So it took us some time to find a good balance in the team and we dropped some points because of that. Missing players was certainly detrimental to our results."
Can Wilshere ever return to his best? Let us know below!