Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is convinced that midfielder Jack Wilshere is fully focused on living a “serious life” despite another off-the-field controversy.
Wilshere was back in the headlines last weekend as he was spotted talking to police in the early hours of Sunday morning in central London, as reported by The Mirror.
Although the England international is in line to make his return from injury in the coming weeks, it is his behaviour off the pitch that has again attracted unwanted attention.
Having denied allegations that he was involved in an assault, Wilshere has been criticised this week for lacking focus. However, Wenger has defended the 24-year-old and believes that he is serious about being successful in football.
“I think the real question is, does he have a serious life or not? A player cannot hide, when you watch him practice every day, he is serious about his life,” Wenger said, as reported by ESPN FC.
“The difference between you and him is you can go out until 2 o’clock in the morning and not be provoked. That’s sometimes difficult. But you cannot ban a guy who is in his 20s to never go out.”
Wenger went on to dismiss suggestions that the midfielder was perhaps too indulged in a party lifestyle, insisting that had Wilshere had too much to drink on Sunday, he would not have survived their training session on Monday.
The French tactician remains happy with his progress, but ultimately Wilshere must start to deliver on the pitch in the final few weeks of the season and potentially at Euro 2016 in France this summer.
No one has ever questioned his ability with the ball at his feet, but if he doesn’t have the discipline and desire to reach the top while being able to avoid distractions, then there is a risk that he won’t fulfil his potential.
Wenger is convinced that won’t be the case, and has revealed his hopes that Wilshere plays consistently well for the Gunners in the coming weeks before joining England this summer and helping them to success too.