Arsenal boss Wenger sets challenge to Wilshere

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that this season will be an important one for midfielder Jack Wilshere, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Wilshere became Arsenal’s youngest ever player when he came on as a substitute in a League Cup match against Blackburn Rovers in 2008. Eventually breaking into the first team and becoming a regular in the 2010-11 season, he was tipped to become a great in the English game, but has struggled to completely fulfil his potential since then.

Injuries have been an issue for the 22-year-old, but last season he was heavily overshadowed by the performances of Aaron Ramsey, who scored 13 Premier League goals from midfield.

Ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley, Wenger set Wilshere the challenge of following in Ramsey’s footsteps. He said: “At the top-level you need to be consistent with your presence. You can play six, seven, eight games and rest one or two but you have to play six, seven on the trot. I think he will be capable of doing it. He prepares well. He has no ankle problem any more. It could be his year.”

“He’s 22. Yes, I agree with the experience he has. I don’t consider him any more as a guy who starts the game [at the beginning of his career]. I consider him as a player. He has the experience and for him the problem until now was medical. I think he’s over it now. It’s the first time I’ve seen him not miss a session since the start of the [pre-season] preparations. It’s an important year for Jack. Very important.”

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