Arsene Wenger admits it is a “dream” for Arsenal that “mature” Jack Wilshere will become a success.
Wilshere is in the final year of his current contract at the Emirates Stadium, and is on the fringes of the first team.
The midfielder spent last season out on loan at Bournemouth but was the subject of little interest in the summer, so is now fighting for a place at the Gunners.
He is expected to start against Doncaster Rovers at home in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday, and Wenger hopes this is the latest catalyst for his career.
“It’s a dream for all of us,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “I gave Jack his start at 17 years of age. You have to be convinced to play a boy at 17 that he is a special player. He is a special player, but we are all the same in that you need health to work.
“He is absolutely determined to get his place back in the team. He got a few knocks and bruises that build a man and at the start it was all very easy for him.
“Jack has gone through some tough times so he has that density, that fitness now of a man who knows that life is not only easy.
“Jack deals with the pressure very well. He always had that from a very young age but I would say that overall he is more patient now.
“He had always common sense Jack, but he had an impulsive character. I would say he’s a much more mature man today.
“Jack has been consistent in training. If you ask me is he back to his full, 100 per cent potential, I would say no, but he’s not far away. The rest now can only be gained by competition.
“That’s why I believe that these kind of games are very important for Jack at the moment. He is focused. There is a big fight there and that’s what we want.”