Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere is close to making a return to the first team. Getty

Arsenal under 21 boss Steve Gatting has hailed the performances of both Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby during the defeat against Reading on Monday 13 April as the duo continue their return from injury with the reserves in order to be ready for the last part of the campaign with the first-team.

Gatting also praised Serge Gnabry but claimed it is still uncertain whether the German starlet will play again for Arsene Wenger this season or will remain with the under 21 side.

Wilshere has been unable to play for the first team since suffering an ankle injury during the clash against Manchester United in November 2014, having had two operations.

But he recently suggested he will be ready to help the Gunners in the last part of the campaign, with Arsenal still having some chances to beat Chelsea for the Premier League title, and will face Reading in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday 18 April.

Meanwhile, Diaby, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium is set to expire this summer, has made only one first-team appearance this season due to a succession of setbacks in his knee.

Even though Arsenal under 21 suffered a defeat against Reading, Gatting expressed his delight about the midfielder duo's form as they prove they are almost ready to return to the first-team.

"The result was disappointing and the performance was okay. We came out with some good positives. Abou Diaby was excellent in the time he was on the pitch and Jack Wilshere was outstanding - the best player on the pitch by far," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking about Gnabry, who has not played with the first-team since March 2014, the manager added: "Serge Gnabry got through it for the second 90 minutes he's played for us and it's minutes on the pitch that will get their sharpness back."

"It's up to [Arsene Wenger] whether he continues to play with the under-21s for the rest of the season. We're delighted when we get the first-team players, they all do well for us and give us that experience, and the boys learn from it."