Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed at his press conference ahead of the FA Cup game against Middlesbrough what he feels Jack Wilshere needs as he looks to get back into the team.
Wilshere has been out of action for an extended period and while he spoke of Wilshere’s determination to get back into the side, he feels the midfielder needs competition.
“He's motivated and focused to come back as quick as possible. He needs competition,” said the manager.
It’s a sensible comment from Wenger, clearly wary of throwing Wilshere back into the team before he’s full fit.
Extra competition, however it comes, will be beneficial for Wilshere in terms of his match sharpness and fitness.
The dilemma facing Wenger is the injury to Wilshere’s teammate Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey’s hamstring problem reoccurred during the win against Leicester City earlier this week and the temptation could be to bring Wilshere back to take his place.
However, Wilshere may be better served by an appearance in the under-21 side, as central midfield isn’t an area where Arsenal are short on options.
Mathieu Flamini, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Mesut Ozil, Francis Coquelin and even summer signing Calum Chambers are all examples of players who can play centrally, suggesting there’s no need for Wilshere to come back prematurely.