Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere made his first appearance on the pitch on Tuesday since suffering an injury setback in February, albeit in a friendly against Championship side Brentford FC. The England international scored one goal and provided an assist to teenage future star Dan Crowley in the 4-0 victory for the Gunners.
Wilshere, along with Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy, Abou Diaby (yes, that Abou Diaby), and Mathieu Flamini all featured for Arsenal on the day. Arteta, Diaby, and Wilshere all played 45 minutes before being substituted off at half-time. Right-back Debuchy and defensive midfielder Flamini lasted 60 and 66 minutes respectively.
23-year-old Wilshere, who was England’s Man of the Match in five consecutive games before going down with an ankle injury, gave the Gunners an early lead during the Friendly. The England international scored inside seven minutes with a “delicate finish”, and subsequently set up the aforementioned Crowley 12 minutes later.
Although Arsenal has been in solid form since the Wilshere injury in November, a return of one of their stars will surely give the team a boost heading into a massive match against Liverpool at the weekend. Wilshere gives the club depth in the center of the pitch, with Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, and Tomas Rosicky all jockeying for a starting spot in central midfield.
Debuchy’s imminent return will also provide the Gunners with a shot in the arm. While young duo Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers have performed adequately (Bellerin more so than Chambers) in the absence of the French number one right-back, Debuchy is certainly the most polished and talented defender on the right side of the Gunner defense.
Arsenal captain Arteta, and often injured senior player Diaby will also give the Gunners added depth in the midfield department. Although, both players most likely won’t be in the team’s starting XI very often in the home stretch of games this season.
Arteta, who has been sidelined due to a lower leg injury since late November, has only managed to feature in seven Premier League games so far this season. While the Spaniard was named Arsenal captain following Thomas Vermaelen’s departure to Barcelona last summer, many Gooners will admit that Arteta is currently behind Cazorla, Coquelin, Ramsey, and Wilshere in the central midfield pecking order.
28-year-old Diaby has yet to play a league match this season for the Gunners. Injury issues have always haunted the former France international, as he has only made one appearance in league play over the last two seasons. With the amount of talent that Diaby possesses, the string of injuries for Diaby over the years is extremely unfortunate.
Nevertheless, the positive news on the injury front will surely make Arsenal fans happy. It is thought that the trio of Arteta, Debuchy, and Wilshere could all be in contention for playing time against Liverpool on Saturday.
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