It’s been a good week to be an Arsenal fan.

Olivier Giroud’s heroics in Greece sent the Gunners into the knockout rounds of the Champions League on Wednesday evening, and there is news that Alexis Sánchez’ return isn’t too far away.

In the absence of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta, the midfield has consisted of Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey for wins against Sunderland and Olympiacos but that may not be necessary for too much longer.

The latest good news out of north London is that Jack Wilshere could make his first appearance of the season this week. According to Mail Sport, the midfielder is nearing the end of his rehabilitation from a fractured left fibula suffered right at the end of pre-season.

As well as offering the ability to play in centre-midfield, where he will be needed at some point as the club currently have no alternatives to Flamini and Ramsey, Wilshere is also capable of playing from a wide role. Currently Joel Campbell is impressing, but youngsters Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Alex Iwobi have been on the bench in recent weeks.

Should Wilshere be back soon, Wenger won’t have to use either of the teenagers, nor will he be forced into putting Kieran Gibbs wide again.

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After a good pre-season, Wilshere suffered the injury in training shortly before the Community Shield win against Chelsea. With Arsenal in the title race and remaining in the Champions League, the return of Wilshere will be a huge boost.

The 23-year-old will also be desperate to prove his fitness to England manager Roy Hodgson ahead of this summer’s European Championships.