Arsene Wenger: Jack Wilshere will get Premier League opportunity
Arsene Wenger insists Jack Wilshere will soon get a chance to impress in the Premier League after he spearheaded another Europa League victory as Arsenal won 1-0 at Red Star Belgrade.
Wilshere played a big part in the decisive goal in Serbia, exchanging passes with Theo Walcott who then teed up Olivier Giroud to score a stunning overhead kick.
The England international, who was sent out on loan to Bournemouth last season to prove his fitness after a nightmare run of injuries, is yet to appear in the Premier League this term but Wenger said that will soon change.
"He will get a chance in the Premier League, don't worry about that," he said. "I think at the moment it's going like that. He got a big kick in the first half on his ankle but he managed to get through the 90 minutes and games of that intensity will, of course, help him a lot."
Wenger saw the attitude of his squad questioned by Watford captain Troy Deeney following the Hornets' 2-1 Premier League win over Arsenal on Saturday.
Wenger, as well as both Per Mertesacker and Wilshere, have defended the players since then and the Frenchman hailed his inexperienced team for performing in the potentially intimidating atmosphere of the Rajko Mitic stadium.
"I agree with you not only in their performance, but they showed character as well," he said when asked if his young players had performed well. "It is not easy to express yourself at 18 years of age. To play in such a heated atmosphere shows how much resilience to stress [the players have], which is an important quality at our level.
"I believe that it was a very difficult game with high intensity in a very heated and supportive atmosphere for the local team and we kept going and trying to win the game, and them as well in fairness."
Red Star boss Vladan Milojevic wants his players to learn from the experience of coming up against a team such as Arsenal and lamented the decision to show a second yellow card to Milan Rodic, who was adjudged to have caught Francis Coquelin with a stray elbow.
"Every defeat hurts," he said. "The sending off was too harsh. We have to move on. We did our best and the players can be proud. Arsenal didn't dominate this game. Games like this are important and it's how you gain experience. We need that in order to improve."