Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere is adamant that his injury woes are finally behind him after a torrid two years on the sidelines, and he admits that he is ready to guide both his club and country to glory.
Wilshere missed the whole of the 2011-12 season because of a serious ankle injury which he picked up in pre-season and he only returned to first-team action in October 2012, but was then struck down by another ankle injury which saw him miss most of the final stages of the 2012-13 campaign.
The Englishman, who has been labelled as a future captain of both Arsenal and England, had light surgery on his ankle back in May and he has revealed that he is well on the road to recovery and is positive that his injury woes are behind him.
The 21-year-old is confident that he can play a big part next season for both club and country and he believes he can help guide them both to glory.
Despite recovering from surgery, the midfielder is hopeful that he can take part in some of the pre-season friendlies after travelling to the Far East with the club.
"I feel physically good but I’m a bit behind," Wilshere told reporters. "I wasn’t able to do much for about six weeks but then I had a programme to follow and I feel good. I haven’t had a pre-season for two years so it’s like you’re always playing catch up.
"There’s no long-term injury issues at all for me now. They took the screws out (of my ankle) which was causing me a problem and hopefully there will be no problems in it for me.
"The first game against Villa will be a massive target for me. I’ll be ready for the start of the season and then play as much as possible."
Wilshere also commented on last season and admitted that he took it badly when he suffered another injury.
"It was tough, especially at the end when I picked up the other injury and I came back and I wasn’t really playing like myself," he added. "I felt really good when I came back first of all. After six or seven games, I felt really good and as if I was playing well.
"The challenge for me is to maintain that level and play to the best of my ability.
"I know I can do it but I just need a good pre-season and to get back to my best."
When asked about England, Wilshere has his eyes set on the World Cup qualifiers and he is confident that they will be in Brazil this time next year.
"We’ve got some big qualifiers which are so important for us." he continued. "I want to be fit and involved for those.
"If we win our home games then I think we will get there. We’ve got one really tough game in Ukraine, we need to get a result there, but if we win our games at Wembley then we can make it. The belief is there."
The 21-year-old has also spoken about potential transfer targets for next season and he has revealed that the rumours do excite the players as well as the fans.
He added: "Everyone talks about the names at the training ground. You see the names and we’re saying: 'You heard about this player or that player.'
"It would give everyone such a massive lift. Not just the players but the staff and everyone. You never know. Let’s hope so.
"Everything has changed. Sir Alex Ferguson has gone. Chelsea and Manchester City have changed their managers. We have to set our targets high."
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