Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes that Jack Wilshere is not too far away from getting into the Gunners' first eleven in the Premier League after another eye-catching performance against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League.

Wilshere started as part of the front three but moved into midfield in the second half where he dictated the tempo of the game and had a goal cleared off the line. The talk comes after the 25-year-old was not included in the squad for the England friendlies next week despite Wenger stating that he believes Wilshere is ready to get back into the international fold.

The midfielder's last appearance for the Three Lions was during their disappointing exit from the European Championships last summer at the hands of Iceland. He has since been on the sidelines. The 25-year-old came on as a second-half substitute against Everton in what was his first league appearance this season and showcased his brilliance immediately with a neatly weighed assist for Aaron Ramsey.

Keown, who has been following Wilshere closely, is of the opinion that the midfielder brings something unique to the Arsenal squad.

"What I like about Jack is he is able to thrust from midfield like no other player can in that central position," Keown said on BT Sport, as quoted by the Express. "He's finishing games, he's coming on stronger in the matches. Look at the ball he played in there, weight of pass, vision.

"There's players all around him and within a second, a moment of brilliance, he's away and out of trouble. I don't see anybody else, there aren't too many players that can do this in the Premier League.

"You've got to remember that this is the B string Arsenal team, he needs to get into that A team. It's almost as if he's on trial every week. It's great to see him back in an Arsenal shirt and he's not far away now."

Jack Wilshere
Wilshere has not been included in the England squad Getty