Arsene Wenger revealed an injury scare to Jack Wilshere in the first-half of Arsenal's win over Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday (19 October), but the midfielder went on to complete the full game.
The Gunners midfielder was again impressive in his advanced midfield role and played a crucial role in Olivier Giroud's 85th minute winner to seal all three points and make it a perfect start in the first three games of the group stages.
Wilshere returned to fitness from a fracture at the start of the season, but he is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League. Wenger has thus far used him only in the cup competitions – the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.
The 25-year-old was close to making his league return during Arsenal's loss to Watford last weekend but an injury to Laurent Koscielny saw him miss out as the manager opted to bring Rob Holding on instead. Wenger has confirmed that he will get his chance sooner rather than later and believes a game of high intensity against Red Star will help him in his road to full fitness.
"He will get a chance in the Premier League, don't worry about that. I think at the moment it's going like that. He got a big kick in the first half on his ankle but he managed to get through the 90 minutes and games of that intensity will, of course, help him a lot," Wenger said after the win, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
Arsenal now have nine points from their first three group games are pretty much guaranteed to progress to the knockout stages. However, they needed Petr Cech to make a few saves before Giroud scored the winner. And, Wenger was pleased with the mentality showed by his team especially after the players' character was questioned after their weekend loss to Watford.
"I believe that it was a very difficult game with high intensity in a very heated and supportive atmosphere for the local team and we kept going and trying to win the game and them as well in fairness," the French coach added.
"We played against a good Red Star team who were always dangerous on the counter attack. Petr Cech made some good saves and in the end we got a win that gives credit to the mentality of the team."