Jack Wilshere's performance in his first start for Arsenal since May 2016 left Arsene Wenger convinced that the midfielder is ready for a return to Premier League action.
The 25-year-old was influential throughout as Arsenal beat Doncaster Rovers 1-0 at the Emirates to reach the fourth round of the EFL Cup, building on his return to first-team action in the 3-1 victory over Cologne in the Europa League last week.
Wilshere spent the 2016-17 season on loan at Bournemouth and it seemed his Arsenal career, which began when he came through the club's youth ranks to make his first-team debut in 2008, was on the wane.
But Wenger gave him a full 90 minutes against Doncaster and was impressed with what he saw.
"I wanted to keep him on. It was the ideal game," Wenger told reporters. "You have to put the game into perspective. But it was important for him to build him up.
"For me he is available now to play - I have to decide when to play him. He needs 90 minutes of that intensity to be repeated."
Wilshere almost registered an assist in the fourth minute when he played a delightful chipped pass to Olivier Giroud, who crashed a spectacular overhead kick onto the crossbar.
The decisive moment arrived in the 25th minute, when Alexis Sanchez played in Theo Walcott and the England forward scored his first Arsenal goal of the season.
Wenger admitted that Doncaster were allowed to make life difficult for his side thereafter, saying: "We started well. We had a good pace to our play but slowly lost our passing a bit.
"After that we did the job, even if we didn’t have the style or flair."
16. Januar 2018
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