Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere stepped up his return from injury with a stellar performance for the club's U-21 side in their game against Everton. The 20-year-old, who spent 14 months on the sidelines, is now in line to make his Premier League comeback in the London derby against QPR next week.
After playing 90 minutes against Chelsea in a behind-closed-doors friendly last week, the youngster managed to finish another full game unscathed, alongside team-mates Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong, who are also nearing a first-team return. Wilshere had made the bench in Arsenal's trip to Norwich City last week but remained an unused substitute, with Arsene Wenger insisting the player will not be rushed back.
The talismanic midfielder created both goals as the Gunners' U-21s beat Everton 2-1. The Toffees took the lead through Apostolos Vellios, five minutes into the game, but Wilshere helped Arsenal equalise in the 12th minute by playing in full-back Jernade Meade, who set up Thomas Eisfeld to fire in at the near post. Wilshere then claimed an assist in the 34th minute by slipping in Eisfeld to score the eventual winner.
Wilshere was a lively presence throughout the match and was at the heart of every Arsenal move. Wenger was initially planning to re-introduce the player to the first team action in the League Cup away game against Reading on 30 October. But Wilshere is understood to be keen to play against QPR at the Emirates next week. The Gunners are struggling with injuries to midfielders Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky and after a disappointing outing against Norwich City last week, Wenger is now considering giving the youngster a Premier League return straightaway.
Wilshere did not feature in any competitive match last season, after suffering an ankle injury in the summer of 2011 that led to a series of setbacks during rehabilitation. The England international also suffered a knee injury this summer that ruled him out of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.