I should be in the squad - Wilshere laments England snub

The Arsenal midfielder made 38 appearances this season and felt he was worthy of a place in his country's World Cup team

Jack Wilshere insists he was fit enough to represent England at the 2018 World Cup and believes he should be in the party travelling to Russia.

The Arsenal midfielder was one of the most high-profile omissions when manager Gareth Southgate named a youthful 23-man squad on Wednesday.

Wilshere has largely put a succession of debilitating injury problems behind him to play 38 times in all competitions for the Gunners this season.

However, a knee complaint robbed him of the chance to impress during March's friendlies against Netherlands and Italy and Southgate opted to go with alternative midfield options such as Manchester City's Fabian Delph and Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

"Think its about time I had my say," Wilshere began in a statement posted to Twitter.

"It goes without saying that I'm naturally incredibly disappointed to have been left out of the England squad for the World Cup.

"I've felt fit, sharp and strong all season and believe I should be in the squad!"

The 26-year-old added: "And given the chance I could have made a real inpact [sic].

"However, I have to respect the manager’s decision and would like to wish the whole squad all the very best for the tournament.

"I will always be an England fan and will be supporting the boys with the rest of the nation."

Wilshere was not included on Southgate's stand-by list, with Bournemouth's Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore of West Brom and Liverpool's Adam Lallana the back-up midfield options.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the England boss stated a perceived drop-off in Wilshere's form towards the end of the season had counted against him.

England kick off their Group G campaign against Tunisia and will also face Panama and Belgium in the round-robin phase.

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