Wenger backs Wilshere to shine

PA Sport
Jack Wilshere could be on the bench for Arsenal against Norwich
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Jack Wilshere could be on the bench for Arsenal against Norwich

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere will have no psychological barriers to overcome when he finally throws himself back into action.

England midfielder Wilshere, 20, has been out for 14 months with niggling ankle and knee injuries, but his agent confirmed he is set to be included in the first-team squad at Norwich on Saturday evening.

"After a serious injury, you have apprehension because many times it is linked. In your memory you have a moment where you have been hit and you will try to avoid getting in the same position again," said Wenger. "Jack has none of that - he has not been injured in a specific tackle."

He went on: "He had a stress fracture that came slowly, so he has no memory in the game of having been kicked by anybody or injured by anybody."

At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Wenger had rejected suggestions Wilshere would be quickly reintegrated into the first-team squad, having earlier this week had a run-out in a specially-arranged friendly.

However, Wilshere's agent Simon Bayliff later said on Twitter that the midfielder would be making the trip to Norfolk.

While Wilshere is not expected to get any game time at Carrow Road, the whole experience will help aid his rehabilitation after such a long period in the treatment room.

Wilshere is likely to play in another under-21s game against Everton next week, and then come into contention for the Capital One Cup tie at Reading on October 30 ahead of the Barclays Premier League game at Manchester United.

Wenger accepts the 20-year-old is impatient.

"Players always think they were ready and when you speak with them six months later and ask 'do you think now you were ready?' They will say no," he said. "It's not up to Jack to know that. His job is to play - he does not decide."

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