Jack's back: Arsenal cannot delay Wilshere's Premier League return any longer

James Benge
Star man: Wilshere impressed yet again as Arsenal extended their Europa League winning run: Arsenal FC via Getty Images

After another night in which he sprinkled stardust over the Europa League, Arsene Wenger can no longer resist calls for Jack Wilshere to move into Arsenal’s Premier League XI.

Set aside the fact that a player with Wilshere’s verticality, his willingness to commit opponents and willingness to cover ground makes him the ideal foil for Granit Xhaka and the case is still overwhelming.

Once more in Belgrade Wilshere led Arsenal from the front, setting the tone for all their best attacks with his darting runs and reviving memories of his stunning goal against Norwich four years ago as he and Olivier Giroud combined for the game's only goal.

Aside from his technical quality Wilshere displayed the leadership Arsenal so desperately need. As the stakes grew Wilshere took charge, a marked contrast from how senior players went missing at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

If nothing else Arsene Wenger must demonstrate that there is a reward for those who toil away at the Europa League coalface. Olivier Giroud in particular will soon wonder if a role predominantly confined to Europe’s second tier competition is enough to secure his place in the France World Cup squad.

Wilshere is well aware of what a bit part at Arsenal means for any international ambitions after opting for a loan spell at Bournemouth in a bid to get back into the England squad. At the inevitable injury-enduced end of that loan spell it had appeared Wilshere had been robbed of his explosive burst of pace once and for all.

Though it will take a run of Premier League games for Arsenal to offer definitive proof that he is still the player who so thrilled the Emirates it now seems that Wilshere needed all of last season simply to get back into the swing of top level football after a run of injuries that add up to two years on the sidelines.