Arsenal have received a massive injury boost with Jack Wilshere set to return to first team as early as Christmas. The Gunners are without five midfielders through injury and Wilshere's return will give them some much needed strength in depth in the centre as the north London club look to put in a proper shift for the title.
The Daily Mail reports that Wilshere is in the final stages of his rehabilitation and can play before the end of the year, having not started a single game since fracturing his metatarsal in training before the community shield. Francis Coquelin, Santo Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky remain sidelined and are unlikely to be available till later in 2016.
Wilshere's return will give Arsene Wenger options in the midfield and on the right, where he has previously used Aaron Ramsey. With the Welshman settling in a more coveted midfield role, Wilshere can work as the playmaker on the right or in a deeper midfield role replacing Mathieu Flamini, where he has previously played for England.
The Gunners are slowly but surely managing to forgo their injury problems with Theo Walcott starting against Olympiacos after returning from a muscle strain. The forward completed crucial minutes for the Gunners and should be close to his 100% when Arsenal face Manchester City later next week in a crucial six pointer.
Wenger has to marshal his troops well in a busy Christmas period with games against Southampton, Bournemouth and Newcastle all set to be played within a week of each other. Alexis Sanchez, who is nursing a hamstring injury, should be back for the run while Danny Welbeck, who has also been missing for the entire season, should be back in full training by the beginning of the next year.
The Gunners, spearheaded by Olivier Giroud, completed a brilliant performance against Olympiacos to progress into the knockout stages of the Champions League. The Frenchman scored the first hat-trick of his Arsenal career to seal a well manicured victory, which should give the Gunners confidence for the fixtures ahead.