Arsene Wenger has dismissed the notion that Jack Wilshere lacks the professionalism to reach his full potential, insisting that he still has every chance of having a great career.
Wilshere made the front page across national newspapers earlier this week after he was reportedly thrown out of London nightclub Cafe de Paris in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The midfielder was photographed talking to policemen but is not believed to have been involved in any wrongdoing. Cafe de Paris have also confirmed that while Wilshere and his friends were asked to leave, he is welcome back anytime.
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And it appears the matter has been resolved with Arsenal, too. Wenger reminded reporters that Wilshere was well within his rights to be out and was under the impression that his midfielder had done nothing wrong.
But the very fact that Wilshere was out at 3am has drawn criticism from fans and pundits alike. Having spent the entire season out with an injury, many were surprised to see the 24-year-old enjoying a night on the town when he was supposedly approaching the end of a long period of rehabilitation.
For many, his off-field antics have proved a big distraction in his pursuit of greatness. He may have tremendous potential with the ball at his feet, but there is some doubt as to whether he has the mindset to reach it.
Wenger, however, has no doubt that Wilshere has the determination to succeed and believes the only thing that can stop him from reaching the top of the game is his injury record.
"At the moment I believe that he’s a real football brain," Wenger told reporters.
“He loves football. He’s very serious and dedicated. I invite you to come in and watch him work. You’ll understand that he’s very dedicated.
“The only thing that could stop him from having the career he could make is injuries. He has a history of injuries, they’ve been bad recently. I Hope that he can get rid of that and make the career he deserves.”
Return to the first team
Having recovered from a fracture in his left leg, Wilshere has returned to full senior training and looks set to make his comeback in an under-21 fixture against Newcastle United on Friday.
Last week, Wenger even suggested that Wilshere could make it to Euro 2016 with England but, despite confirming his likely involvement in tomorrow's game, has said he will be cautious before reintroducing him into the Premier League squad.
“We have to see now [about Wilshere's return to the senior side]," he said.
"We have to be cautious because of his history. Let’s not rush him. He’ll have a big part in the game tomorrow night and hopefully he’ll come through well. I’m a bit cautious.”