Jack Wilshere returns to action after long injury lay-off

Sunday 24 Apr 2016
Jack Wilshere replaces Mesut Ozil in the 84th minute of Arsenal's draw at Sunderland

Jack Wilshere came off the bench during Arsenal's Premier League draw at Sunderland for his first appearance since last June.

The midfielder has been out of action since England's 3-2 win over Slovenia in Ljubljana – a game in which he scored his first international goals to earn the Three Lions a vital EURO 2016 qualifying victory.

Wilshere scores his second in last year's win over Slovenia

But the 24 year-old has been missing from action ever since, and had not made an appearance for club nor country this season before his late cameo in the Gunners' stalemate at the Stadium of Light.

The Gunners have a further three games to play in their Premier League campaign, meaning Wilshere could well increase his involvement in the final weeks of the season.

England manager Roy Hodgson previously gave Wilshere hope of a place in his squad for EURO 2016 – a stance he maintained when speaking earlier this month:

"We have got a very interesting situation going ahead with four or five players who could quite easily be mechanically fit and capable of taking part of the Euros but will be returning from very long injuries.

"I will have plenty to talk about, myself and Gary [Lewin], when we look at the whole group that could be there.

"There’s no disguising the fact that people like Jack Wilshere, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney, a year ago, were five players who were getting into every squad.

"Things have happened to them and we have to reassess. If we can be sure they are at the level of fitness and level of capability to produce the performances they produced a year ago and we are convinced they can do it then they will be serious contenders. If we are not convinced we have to give it some thought.

"At the moment I am in that happy position I don’t have to worry about that. There’s a month of football still to be played and so much can happen. Let’s wait and see but our mind is not closed in any way.

"We will try to be as wise as we can possibly be, taking all the facts and things that matter into account."

By Jim Lucas