Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere came off the bench for England in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Portugal, and delivered a bright showing at Wembley to push his case for starting in the Euro 2016 opener against Russia. The 24-year-old played a part in the winning goal, laying the ball for Raheem Sterling to cross for Chris Smalling, and was typically comfortable on the ball.
Wilshere has featured in all three of England’s international friendlies ahead of this summer’s European Championships, and has boosted his match fitness in the last few weeks to be in good condition for the Russia clash. The Gunners playmaker still doesn’t know what his role will be in the side, as there’s stiff competition for places, but he’s done no harm to his cause so far.
“It’s great to be back in an England shirt and back in the set-up. I feel as each game has gone on I’ve got better and sharper and used to the way we play with England again. I feel ready now. Of course I haven’t played a lot of football this season but the manager kept faith in me and I’m thankful for that. It’s down to me to show him I’m fit and show him I’m still the same player and that I’m ready to play for England,” he said after the game.
The midfielder’s physical ability is the only doubt, as he will be under more pressure on the ball when the European Championships commences, compared to the leisurely pace of an international friendly. Nevertheless, England manager Roy Hodgson is content with his players going into the tournament, and will have a selection headache of what to do with all his attacking central midfielders.
England are 10/11 to win against Russia in Saturday’s Euro 2016 group game. Will Jack Wilshere be starting?