Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere insists he is fit enough for inclusion in England's European Championship squad despite not starting a single game this season. The 24-year-old has played just 73 minutes this season during cameo appearances from the bench against Sunderland and Manchester City due to an extended recovery period from a broken leg, but remains in contention to feature in Roy Hodgson's squad.
Hodgson has put back the announcement of his 23-man roster, which will also include a handful of stand-by players, to Monday 16 May to allow players to prove their fitness over the final weekend of the Premier League season. The cluster of individuals include Wilshere who is bidding to play his first full 90 minutes in 11 months when the Gunners host Aston Villa at The Emirates Stadium on Sunday (15 May).
With Tottenham Hotspur duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier as well as Ross Barkley of Everton all expected to be included when Hodgson's unveils his selection, Wilshere will be competing with the likes of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater for a place, but the Arsenal man is confident he will be included.
"I have been in contact with the coaching staff at England and they know I have been fit for six or seven weeks' training now," he told The Evening Standard. "I would like to have played a few more minutes. I got 64 last week [as Arsenal drew 2-2 with Manchester City]. Hopefully I can get a few more this week and we'll see what happens.
"If I am in the squad, I've got those three friendlies. That will be more than enough. I know what it takes to get back to my best and that is more than enough. I felt brilliant [on Sunday].
"I started watching from the bench in the first 15 minutes thinking 'this is what I need' — high intensity, pressure on both teams. Roy has asked me how my injury is and how I feel. He hasn't really given too much away so we'll see on Monday. Fingers crossed."
While rivals Henderson and Drinkwater may feature in games of little importance for Liverpool and Leicester, Wilshere could play for an Arsenal side chasing second place in the Premier League. Victory for Arsene Wenger's side over the league's bottom club will see them leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur, should they lose to Newcastle United.