Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down reports that 20-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere will fail to recapture the form that made him one of England’s youngest ever internationals and brightest midfield talents almost 14 months ago.
Wilshere last appeared on a football pitch in a pre-season friendly against the New York Red Bulls in July 2011 due to ankle and knee but according to the
“He will be a better player because if you have this kind of injury at the age of 20 you will take off again and move forward normally,” said Wenger. “If you have the injury after the age of 25 it is different. At his age it is no problem. It’s difficult to predict [how long he needs to find his best form]. You want people to be patient. After three months of competition for sure he would be back. It takes a while to find the little burst again.
Wenger went on to praise Wilshere’s mental strengths following so many setbacks and complications to an injury that Wenger initially said would only last a matter of days, but eventually ended Wilshere’s season, as well as hopes of participating in Euro 2012 and the London summer Olympics.
“He has had ups and downs and many downs because he had a few setbacks,” continued Wenger. “He dealt with it very well, especially in the last three months. He was highly focused every day, he was in every day very early and worked all day through. He is rewarded now with a good condition. When you are so young and out for 14 months that is a good test for your mental strength. On that front he has been absolutely brilliant.”
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