Arsene Wenger has confirmed he intends to meet with fit-again midfielder Jack Wilshere at the end of this month to decide on his future at Arsenal.
The 25-year-old, who started for the first time in the league this season in the goalless draw with West Ham, has made no secret of the fact he may have to leave in January in the hope of regular first-team football to boost his chances of securing a place in the England squad for the World Cup in Russia next year.
The playmaker has just six months left on his current contract and has been given no assurances of his future with the capital giants, with Hammers manager David Moyes a confirmed admirer.
Long-serving boss Wenger said he was enthused by Wilshere’s return to senior action at West Ham and confirmed he hopes to thrash out a new deal soon.
“I was impressed. It was an encouraging performance – he suffered in the last 20 but we had to attack. He has been patient and worked hard,” the Frenchman told reporters.
“I will talk to him at the end of December, but I wanted to see how much he can contribute and how he will last physically. For him to be happy here is important and I consider him an Arsenal man.”
Wilshere came in against West Ham because of an injury sustained by Aaron Ramsey injury and could keep his place on Saturday for the visit of strugglers Newcastle United.
Wenger added: “We’ll see how he recovers. I will have to assess a bit. He has done well.”
Top-four hopefuls Arsenal are quoted 1.25 in the 90-minutes betting and the draw is quoted 6.00. Rafael Benitez’s men are available to back at 11.00.