Wilshere needs more match fitness, says England boss Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson has said that midfielder Jack Wilshere must play regularly between now and the end of the season if he is to shine at next summer’s World Cup, Sky Sports has reported.

Due in part to the signing of Mesut Ozil and the impressive form shown by Aaron Ramsey in the early months of the campaign, Wilshere has found himself in and out of the Arsenal starting XI. The 21-year-old has not started any of the last three Premier League games, and has also struggled for fitness, with an ankle problem forcing him to miss the games against Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of November.

Wilshere started for England and played 71 minutes of Friday’s friendly defeat to Chile at Wembley, and afterwards Hodgson said that his lack of playing time has affected his fitness. He explained: “One thing Jack has mentioned (to me) recently has been that he has had a lack of 90-minute match practice and he obviously feels that he needs a few more games under his belt.

“But there will be 28 games that he can possibly play before we go to Brazil so it’s not something that bothers me enormously in November.’

Discussing Wilshere’s efforts against Chile, Hodgson added: “It’s going to take Jack some time. He admits that, as does Arsene (Wenger). I thought he did some very good things in the game against Chile so I wasn’t disappointed with him.

“He has had two or three weeks off with an ankle injury so it was going to be tough for him to come on and set the game alight in a game of that quality, but I wasn’t disappointed with him at all. I was pleased we got 71 minutes out of him and I hope that will do him well for the future.”

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