It’s been a very long, hard road back to fitness for Jack Wilshere, but the former Arsenal and West Ham man will have hoped to have finally turned the corner.
Against Crawley in the FA Cup earlier in the week, Wilshere scored his first goal in 18 months and what a strike it was too.
In some way, it may have helped take the pain of the last couple of years away.
It’s certainly left the attacking midfielder looking forward rather than back, which can only be a good thing.
“I’m happy to have got my first game, my first start, my first hours of football in a long time and now I just want to progress from here,” he said to the Bournemouth Daily Echo, cited by the Daily Mail.
“I want to use this as a benchmark. I scored a goal, I want to score some more and I want to play in a successful team that is winning games and pushing for promotion.
“When I first came down here three or four weeks ago, I felt really comfortable and there was a smile on my face again. I knew pretty quick that it was something I wanted to do and I wanted to be here.
“I’m glad that the club wanted me and gave me an opportunity and now I want to repay them with some good performances and try and get this club in the Premier League.”
Still only 29 years of age, Wilshere has a few years left in the game if he can finally steer clear of injuries.
It’s fair to say that international honours are unlikely to come his way again, but if he can prolong his career into his mid-thirties, it would be a reward for all of the hard work he’s put in to try and get back to the very top.