Jack Wilshere
Wilshere's return will be a big boost for the Arsenal squad. REUTERS

Theo Walcott believes that Jack Wilshere will have a long and very prosperous season with Arsenal, but the winger has insisted that the youngster won't be rushed into the starting line up as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

Wilshere limped off in a friendly match against the New York Red Bulls at the end of July last year, and hasn't played for the Gunners since.

While his recovery has been long and arduous, and included a stint in surgery to assist recovery, the England international is desperate to get back into the first team and help Arsenal in their pursuit of trophies this season.

And Walcott, who has been on fire for the Gunners this season and a fantastic partner to Robin van Persie, believes that Wilshere has been particularly influential off the pitch, and will be able to contribute in many ways when he returns to action for Arsenal.

"Seeing Jack in and around the dressing room and treatment room, he is as happy as ever," Walcott told the official Arsenal website.

"He's had a new step in his life with a new-born baby, which is great, and he is also a very important player for us. Obviously he won the Young Player of the Year award last year which was deserved. He's also played for England and now he just needs to get back out on that pitch.

"You have to ease him back into it because he's had a long time out and he's only just turned 20. He has a long career ahead of him so we don't want to be overplaying him. But we'll use him the right way, I'm sure of it."

Wilshere is seen as one of a group of future talents in the Arsenal squad, and alongside the likes of Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, he could be a future England star too.

Arsenal are badly in need of Wilshere's return, with the club relying on the 20 year old to provide support in the club's midfield. The loss of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were heavily felt by the north London side, and while Mikel Arteta is contributing to filling the hole left by the pair, Wilshere would go a long way to help the Gunners' cause in pushing for a Champions League spot.