After 14 months out, Jack Wilshere makes his long-awaited return in an Arsenal shirt.
The 20-year-old will line up against West Bromwich Albion for the Gunners reserve team tonight in Birmingham in one of the most anticipated returns for a long time at Arsenal.
After Emmanuel Frimpong bullied his way into the squad for the Coventry City match last week, Wilshere has had to bide his time as he prepares to make his comeback after over a year away from the game.
Little did we know that after Jack hobbled off the pitch during the Emirates Cup match with the New York Red Bulls that it would be such a long time since we were to see him again.
But that moment has finally come as he continues his rehabilitation from injury, and he has be promised an hour of action by the boss Arsene Wenger himself.
“He will play on Monday, he will play his first game with the under-21s, maybe an hour or something like that,” said Wenger.
“It’s another important step but he has not played for 14 months so we have to calm your impatience a little bit.
“It is fantastic for him. When you are at that age and are out for such a long time, it is absolutely massive to take [for] him and Frimpong…It is massive for them to come back and for us as well.”
As expected, Wenger is keen to lower everyone’s expectations of Wilshere after his injury nightmare, and rightly so.
He is still very young and has only had one full season with the Gunners so we can’t expect him to be a world beater straightaway.
I expect it will be another month or so at least before we see him anywhere near the first-team picture, especially after Wenger shot down the chances of him pulling on an England shirt against San Marino. It still wouldn’t surprise me if Roy Hodgson tried to call him up though and I have no doubt that Wilshere would be tempted to play for his country, but sanity must prevail here.
But once he is back to 100% match fitness and has a few games under his belt, it’s going to be like signing a £30m player.
Let’s remember that Jack was outstanding in his breakout season for the Gunners and was arguably our player of the year for that term.
He will be a colossal boost for both club and country, and he will add to our talented midfield group that we already boast at Arsenal.
But for now let’s not get over-excited by his return and just keep our feet on the ground until his name appears in the starting line-up for the first-team on a Saturday afternoon.
Below is a reminder of just how good Wilshere is.
Welcome back Jack!