Wilshere keen to repay Southgate's faith

Gareth Southgate kept his promise to Jack Wilshere and the Arsenal man is keen to repay the England boss in their upcoming friendlies.

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere   -  Getty Images

Jack Wilshere is keen to repay the faith shown by Gareth Southgate when he returns to the England squad for the upcoming friendlies with Netherlands and Italy.

Wilshere was part of Southgate's 27-man squad named on Thursday for the two fixtures, his first international recognition since England's defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

Since that loss in Nice, Wilshere's career has not hit the heights many had hoped, and last season he left Arsenal on loan to get more first-team football.

That spell at Bournemouth helped Wilshere reclaim a starting spot with the Gunners and, after 31 appearances in all competitions this season, he has earned an England recall.

Now he is ready to deliver for his country and win a place in Southgate's World Cup squad.

"It was clear what he [Southgate] wanted me to do," Wilshere told reporters after Arsenal's Europa League victory over AC Milan on Thursday.

"Get some games for Arsenal, play in the Premier League, which I have done. He's been true to his word, so it's down for me to repay him now.

"I knew what I had to do. Not just the England manager but the Arsenal manager made it clear what he wanted from me. He wanted me to prove my fitness and I think I've done that now."

Wilshere's Arsenal future remains unclear with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, but he appears ready to sign a new deal if one is forthcoming.

"Back in the summer I was watching the boys training and not knowing what I was doing, was I staying or was I leaving," he added.

"Once I knew I was staying I was determined to get my head down and get back into the team. 

"I knew that the manager trusts me, it was just about when I came on and got the opportunity off the bench to prove to them that I can still do it.

"I'm enjoying myself, I love playing here. I said that before. I'm happy here."