JACK WILSHERE has said his fitness levels are “the best they have ever been” as he aims to prove to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger he is worth a first-team spot.
The 25-year-old has only played three games for the Gunners this season – twice in the Europa League and once in the EFL Cup.
But he looks to be over the injury that ended his 2016/17 season early while at Bournemouth, and wants to finally establish himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Speaking to Chris Harris on the Arsenal weekly podcast, Wilshere said: “My fitness levels if I’m honest are the best they have ever been.
“If you look at the numbers after the game, I’ve been out for four months but I’m not the one who hasn’t ran the most.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t run the most, but my numbers are good so I’m happy.”
Wilshere was impressive for Bournemouth last season where he became one of Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe’s first-picks.
But Wilshere has revealed he never “planned” to go out on loan.
“Last year it wasn’t planned to go out on loan.
“But I had a good time, I learnt a lot, went to a good club, but I never planned that, I wanted to stay at Arsenal.
“I’m happy to be back. The year before I went out on loan I was injured, so it’s a few years to say I’ve been available or fit enough to play for Arsenal, and I’m at my best levels so I’m happy.”
Wilshere went on to describe his injury problems as being “impact” issues – and admits he can’t rule out these continuing.
He added: “Football, especially the way I play it, you’ve always got a chance of being injured, if you’re running with the ball, going into tackles.
“That’s all my injuries have ever been. Last year I played 28, 30 games at Bournemouth and then picked up an impact injury.
“I know a lot of people made a big thing about it but I was cool, I was calm, rehab was good and it only took four months for a bone to heal, which is pretty good.
I’ve got trust in my body, I’m fit and available and I’m getting back to my best.”
Arsenal seem to have recovered well following their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool, but Wilshere still has a lot to prove to Wenger that he can become a mainstay in the first XI.
SunSport reported earlier today how Gunners chief Wenger told beIN Sports the 25-year-old has until December to prove himself.
Wenger said: “Today the requests and demands in the competitions are so high physically that you can only be your best physically if you can play at least 10 games on the trot.
“Wilshere struggled historically with repeated injuries.
“Nobody would question his talent. Nobody would question his exceptional ability to beat people with the ball. But in this job you need first health.
“That is what’s at stake for Jack Wilshere. Keep health and compete and be capable to compete.
“If he can play from now until December at the top level he will be back.”
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