Arsene Wenger has reiterated his desire to keep hold of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere during the summer transfer window, despite the reported interest of Premier League rivals Manchester City.
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However, the Frenchman has warned his 23-year-old stalwart that he won’t be guaranteed an immediate return to first-team football after recovering from injury.
The England international has missed 27 straight games with an ankle injury sustained in November but is finally ready to return as the Gunners step up their unlikely Premier League title bid.
Reports in The Sun confirm Wenger’s desperation to prevent Wilshere following the likes of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure up to Manchester, regardless of whether he’s able to make an impact between now and the end of the season.
Wenger told reporters: “We are not in a position anymore where we have to sell our best players. I am not going to make a headline out of something that is not true.
“Every player who doesn’t play is always frustrated when he cannot perform and that is always difficult. Jack played many games at the start of the season. Now he is available again and, like every other player, he can have a big impact until the end of the season.
“But who plays at the weekend depends on fitness, availability and the needs of the team. There are 25 individual cases who deserve to play but we are all here to serve Arsenal Football Club and that is it.
“Everybody is rated exactly the same and you respect everybody and want them all to contribute to the team. Our entire job is all about competition.
“Today’s players are in a fantastic position but you have to accept that you are always in competition. If you cannot accept that then you have nothing to do in this job.”
Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Abou Diaby are also closing in on a return from injury after featuring in Arsenal’s Under-21 team on Tuesday evening, meaning that the Gunners could have a near full-strength squad for their Premier League run in.