Arsenal, Clubs, Crystal Palace, English Premier League, Jack Wilshere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Story, Transfers

Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere needs games and to be injury free, after the midfielder missed out on an England call-up.
Jack Wilshere spoke after Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Red Star Belgrade and had this to say about his fitness and this summer’s World Cup.

Roy Hodgson has hit out at reports linking Crystal Palace with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, saying his name has not been mentioned in discussions about potential new players.

Hodgson, who took over from the sacked Frank de Boer earlier this season, said that although there “may come a time” when Palace wanted to sign the England international, he was not currently under consideration.

Wilshere played for Bournemouth on loan last season, and reports have suggested that Arsene Wenger could let him leave the Emirates Stadium in January.

But Hodgson told reporters: “Who has linked him? That’s what you need to find out, because it didn’t come from us.

“I will tell you who, his agent — because that’s where newspapers get their stories from.

“We have never mentioned his name. I work with Dougie Freedman and we talk about potential players, and Jack Wilshere’s name has never been mentioned in this room.

“I like him and I think he is a very good player. There may come a time at Crystal Palace where Jack Wilshere would be just the player we are looking for, but I can’t tell you that is the case at the moment.”

Hodgson also congratulated Palace’s on-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Gareth Southgate confirmed that he would start for England in Friday’s Wembley friendly against Germany.

“I am delighted for him,” the former England manager said. “It will be wonderful and it is a good achievement for him.

“It goes to show that it is not only us who recognise he has got potential and a great talent — it shows Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland believe in it too.

“It is an ideal opportunity for him. I don’t think he will be fazed by it, he is a confident player and a calm and confident man who knows what he can do.

“You can accelerate people’s progress and we saw that with a lot of the players we brought into the England team.

“We got a lot of stick for that, but it still means that [Danny] Welbeck, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Raheem] Sterling, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Harry Kane, Eric Dier — all these players came through and now everyone says they are the be-all and end-all.

“But they didn’t when we chose them, I can assure you — they wanted people of 28 and 29 who were playing.”

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