Attending a media briefing on Thursday, England manager Roy Hodgson admitted he has a lot of thinking to do over Jack Wilshere and whether or not to select the Arsenal midfielder this summer.
The Three Lions head off to France when the season ends to take part in the European Championships and, though he is seen as a key member of the squad, Wilshere may not be selected.
Unfortunately, the midfielder hasn’t played for the Arsenal midfielder all season. Hodgson had previously suggested he will be willing to pick such a vital player regardless but now appears to be reconsidering.
“It is certainly a question that is occupying a large amount of time in our thoughts,” said the England boss. “There’s no question in that.”
“But it is very dangerous I think to give a direct answer because then you’re in the throes of ‘you picked him but he’s only done that and you’ve not picked that one and he’s done the same’.
“I don’t want to get into that situation.”
There would be plenty of scrutiny from media and fans if Wilshere is selected having rarely played all season but the 24-year-old is hoping to prove his fitness in the coming weeks.
With Jordan Henderson already injured and doubtful for the tournament, Hodgson could have no choice but to select Wilshere if he’s determined to take at least one of his favoured midfielders to France.
“I just want to leave it to pick, ideally, the 23 we’d like to have, but we will have to definitely take into account that some will be on the back of a long season, where they’ve played almost every game.
“Some will be probably woefully short of actual competitive match practice because they’ve been out for such a long time.
“At this moment in time, that seems like a dilemma, that sort of decision, in terms of making a good decision vis-a-vis how fit are they, how fit are they actually going to be, how is their lack of matches during the year going to affect them?”
Wilshere certainly falls into the category of players who are short of match practice. Three consecutive starts for the Arsenal u21s has helped his case and, with four Premier League fixtures remaining, he is close to featuring for Wenger’s side again.
The Arsenal manager is eager to select Wilshere and hopes he does enough before the end of the campaign to convince Hodgson to select him.