Wilshere excited by partnership with Oxlade-Chamberlain for club and country
11:14 GMT, 29 October 2012
Jack's back: Arsenal welcomed Jack Wilshere into the side for the first time in 15 months
Jack Wilshere has targeted a golden combination with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for club and country after the midfielder made his first appearance in more than a year.
The 20-year-old has been sidelined with knee and ankle injuries for 15 months, during which time Oxlade-Chamberlain has become the latest great hope for English football.
The pair are yet play together after the former Southampton man suffered a hip injury earlier this month.
However, Wilshere revealed his excitement at the prospect of teaming up with the fleet-footed wideman in the coming weeks.
He said: 'If we can get playing together for Arsenal then hopefully we can take it onto the international stage and it’ll be great for both club and country.
'I think that Alex is already mature enough to step in at any level. You could see that at the Euros – he was just 18 but it was like he was meant to be there.
'That confidence is one of his main attributes, and I think that the boss at Arsenal has been really good for him.'
England have a friendly with Sweden in Gothenburg on November 14, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has asked Roy Hodgson to overlook Wilshere while he gets back up to speed.
'It is a friendly. Jack should skip that,' said Wenger. 'What is important now is that he gets back to full fitness for this team. Once he is back he will play for England again, but if it is a friendly….'
He added: 'I will have a little word [with Hodgson], of course. Anyway, Roy will call me about him.
Moving forward: Wilshere now hopes to team up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
'I am an understanding manager. If it is a
friendly, a full game would be too much at the moment. I will speak
about it with Roy, but what is important now is that he gets back to his
Wilshere's return to action for the
Gunners was an unfamiliar experience, playing alongside just four
players with whom he'd previously featured.
midfielder believes there is certainly increased competition in the
ranks now – despite some big name departures – especially in his
preferred position. Strength in depth, though, is important.
'I think you can see that there's great competition now throughout midfield,' Wilshere added. 'That's what players need – if you’re guaranteed a place every week maybe you can just go easy, but with the competition we have at Arsenal in midfield I think it’s good for everybody.
Among those forming a new look midfield is Santi Cazorla.
'I think you can see already that we're all gelling,' Wilshere said. 'A couple of months ago none of the new boys even knew each other or the rest of the squad, but I think good players just fit in.
'For example with Cazorla, you can tell he’s just a natural footballer so he fits right in.'
The Spaniard has already scored twice in the Premier League since his move from Malaga this summer. Wilshere hopes he too can add goals to his game.
He said: 'I'm always looking to improve every aspect of my game. Before I got injured, I wasn’t getting forward enough and didn’t score enough goals, so that’ll be something I’m looking to do this year and I’ll hopefully get a few more for the team.
Goal time: Santi Cazorla has already scored twice in his short Arsenal career
Wilshere completed just over an hour on
his comeback to the first-team – against QPR – and will be rested for
Tuesday's League Cup match with Reading.
But with the games coming thick and fast, it is expected that the talented 20-year-old will play a key role over a busy autumn and winter period, weather conditions he has no problem adapting too.
'I think in England you have to like the wind and rain because you get every type of weather from January all year round really.
'We all know the wind and rain is part and parcel of football and if you don’t like that then you can’t play over here.
'Players have to adapt quickly when they come to England. You find that the foreign players that do well here are the ones that adapt best to the conditions.
'I think it gives us an advantage in the Champions League too, when teams come over and the weather’s not good, the English lads are used to it.'