Wenger talks Wilshere; surprised by Ozil omission

Matt Stead

Arsene Wenger has discussed the fitness of Jack Wilshere, and Mesut Ozil’s Team of the Year omission.

Wilshere has not played at all this season after suffering a broken leg in the summer, with numerous setbacks keeping the England international sidelined.

Wenger stated that while the 24-year-old would not feature in midweek against West Brom, Arsenal’s clash with Sunderland on Sunday could prove to be a potential return date.

“I cannot plan that,” Wenger replied when asked if Wilshere will feature at the Stadium of Light.

“At the moment I do not know if I will take him or not. Even if do I take him, you cannot plan that he will play a part in the game.

“Physically he is better. He made a big improvement in the third game. In the first two he was alright but in the third he found his burst back, the little change of pace. If I don’t take him this weekend I will certainly take him the next one.

“Sunderland away will be a battle. I first have to see how people recover from tonight and then make a decision on Saturday.

“We are in a position where we want the three points and they want the three points, so it should be an interesting battle.”

While Wilshere’s involvement remains up in the air, Wenger professed to being surprised at Ozil’s absence from the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

The German World Cup winner has been impressive in the most part and has laid on as many as 18 assists for his team-mates, but Hector Bellerin was the only Arsenal representative in an XI dominated by Leicester and Spurs stars.

“It’s a surprise to me,” Wenger added.

“I cannot explain it. It’s the players who vote. I don’t know why they did not pick him. When you are top in the assists usually that is a sign of quality that should get you a place in the top team.”