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Friday, September 21, 2012

Is Jack About to Return?

We may have heard it all before, but Arsene Wenger’s claims that Jack Wilshere is close to returning from injury will no doubt excite Gooners desperate to see the 20-year-old’s comeback.

Wilshere has been out for 14 months and, although coming close to returning to fitness on a number of occasions, has suffered various setbacks over the past year. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City, Arsenal boss, Wenger, told journalists that Wilshere is ready to come back stronger.

“What he’s gone through will make him stronger. It’s a good test for your mental strength,” he concluded. “We have to be a bit cautious. We need to manage him well. He needs a few games in the reserves.”

Wenger often cites the need for caution when planning the return of injured players, yet news that Wilshere is close to a comeback has nevertheless ignited excitement with fans looking for more tips to bet on Premier League football. The midfielder was arguably Arsenal’s best player in the 2010/11 season and stood shoulder to shoulder with central midfield partner, Cesc Fabregas.

He looked every bit a top professional when Arsenal faced Barcelona in the Champions League and many fans view his comeback as the final piece needed in Wenger’s title-winning jigsaw.

What is most exciting about his return is that Wilshere will have to fight hard to force his way into the starting XI. Wenger has done well to maintain a solid centre midfield after losing three key players in the past two years; Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Alex Song – despite what you may think of them now – were all solidly reliable in an Arsenal shirt.

Now a new generation is forming and Wilshere, alongside Abu Diaby and Santi Cazorla, will drive the Arsenal engine into a Premier League challenge this season. His full comeback is still a long way away but Wenger’s fresh words of encouragement suggest the Emirates will welcome back their hero very soon.

Looking forward to this weekend’s football? Betfair’s Lee Dixon believes that a confident Arsenal can hold City.

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