'Fitter than ever' Wilshere ready to play big role for Arsenal

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The 25-year-old is delighted with the improvements he has shown in training with the Gunners and is ready to get back into the starting XI

Jack Wilshere says he is ready for regular playing time at Arsenal as his fitness levels are "the best they've ever been".

The England international has suffered persistent iniuries in his career and recently recovered from a calf problem he picked up on loan at Bournemouth in April.

Wilshere has featured three times for Arsenal's first-team this season - starting and finishing against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Cup and BATE Borisov in the Europa League - but he is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League since his return from the Cherries.

Arsenal -1 11/8 v Watford

The 25-year-old says he is fitter than ever and proving to Arsene Wenger in training that he is back at the same level as his team-mates.

“I always hear the boss say it's my first five-metre burst, when I receive the ball and get away from defenders, and I feel that’s getting better and better each day,” he told Arsenal's website.

“I feel like the way to improve that is in games when you’re playing against opposition that want to win and want to win the ball back and you have to be able to keep the ball.

“That’s coming back and my fitness levels, if I’m honest, are probably the best they’ve ever been. I look at my numbers after the game and I’ve been out for four months and I’m not the one who hasn’t run the most.

"Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t run the most, we’ve got a lot of players that do that, but my numbers are good so I’m happy.”

Jack Wilshere Arsenal

Wilshere admits he has had to adapt his training routine due to the injuries he has struggled with over the years, but says he is more determined to return to regular playing time.

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“When I first broke into the first team, even looking back when I was 16, you take things for granted. I was training every day and when you’re a 16-year-old, you can do that," he said.

“As you get older your body changes, you pick up injuries, you have to be more careful with certain situations and it makes you stronger as well.  I’ve always loved playing football and that’s what I wanted to do.

“Of course there’s been times when it’s been tough, when you’re injured and you wake up in the morning, you think ‘Oh I’ve got to go to training, all the other lads are training, you’ve got to go to the gym’. That makes you stronger and it makes you appreciate it more and try and do everything you can to keep fit and keep on the pitch.”

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