Jack Wilshere made his first start for Arsenal since May 2016 in the Gunners’ Carabao Cup match against Doncaster Rovers this evening.
And it didn’t take the midfielder long to get the fans excited with a lovely pass to Olivier Giroud that nearly resulted in a Goal of the Season contender.
Wilshere’s career has stalled in recent years, a combination of injuries and an uninspiring loan spell at Bournemouth contributing to his fall, but Arsenal fans would love to see nothing more than the return of the player who produced a superb display against Barcelona as a 19-year-old in 2011.
Arsene Wenger believes the Wilshere of today is an entirely different player to the one he brought into the first team as a 17-year-old.
“I gave Jack his start at 17 years of age,” Wenger said before tonight’s game, per the Telegraph. “You have to be convinced to play a boy at 17 that he is a special player.
“He is absolutely determined to get his place back in the team.
“Jack has gone through some tough times so he has that density, that fitness now of a man who knows that life is not only easy.
"He had always common sense Jack, but he had an impulsive character. I would say he’s a much more mature man today.”
Giroud nearly scored a stunner
More mature and still technically-gifted, too.
The 24-year-old’s dinked pass to Giroud split the Doncaster defence and the Frenchman attempted a bicycle kick that crashed against the crossbar.
Giroud has scored some fantastic goals during his time in north London and this would have ranked up there. Check it out below.
What a stunning attempt.
Arsenal weren’t to be contacted for too much longer though. They opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Theo Walcott finished from Alexis Sanchez’s perfect pass.
It was just the start Arsenal were hoping for as they look to avoid an embarrassing defeat.