Arsene Wenger reiterated Arsenal’s plans to discuss a contract extension with Jack Wilshere after the midfielder again excelled in their 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace.
However after the Frenchman’s record-equalling 810th fixture as a Premier League manager, he conceded Alexis Sanchez’s future remains uncertain.
On the same evening Wenger drew level with the record set by Sir Alex Ferguson, from inside his own half Wilshere played the classy ball that released Sanchez beyond Palace’s defence to score his second goal and Arsenal’s third.
The hosts again responded through James Tomkins’ late header – Andros Townsend had earlier levelled following Shkodran Mustafi’s tap-in – but despite late pressure remain 16th after their inability to secure a point.
Wilshere’s growing influence again demonstrated the importance of securing his future at a time when, like Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, unless Arsenal make progress he will be able to leave for free at the season’s end.
Wenger said: “We need to sit down with him. Beginning of January, it’s planned.
“There is no delay. I said we would sort out his situation in December, end of December. I told him we want to meet and sit down with him to talk about the future. That’s what I did.
“We play on Sunday (at West Brom), we play on Wednesday (at home to Chelsea). At the moment the focus has to be on the games.”
Wilshere added on Sky Sports: “I spoke to the boss and he said he will speak to me so we’ll see when he speaks to me, I am sure it will be done.”
On his improving form, the midfielder added: “It’s difficult to say, I was happy with my form last year, I’m probably better now, I feel better, I feel fitter, I’m getting better each game and I am enjoying my football.”