Wilshere back for England to face Scotland, Spain

LONDON • Jack Wilshere has been rewarded for his first run of 90-minute matches for more than two years with an England recall after Dele Alli was forced out of Gareth Southgate's plans for the next two games with a knee injury.

Wilshere has been named in a 25-man squad for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland on Friday and the friendly against Spain the following Tuesday.

The midfielder is finally starting to show he is capable of playing regularly in the top division since joining Bournemouth on loan from Arsenal.

Harry Kane is also recalled after his return to the Tottenham Hotspur side, while Adam Lallana, Danny Drinkwater, Nathaniel Clyne and Raheem Sterling have been brought back after missing Southgate's first two games in charge as caretaker manager.

Southgate has resisted any temptation to give Ross Barkley another chance while Michail Antonio's hopes of winning his first England cap have clearly diminished.

The West Ham man has been unable to keep his place while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also misses out as Southgate prepares for the two games that will almost certainly determine whether he is offered the England job on a full-time basis.

Wilshere was excluded for Allardyce's solitary game in charge against Slovakia and was also left out when Southgate took control for the qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, but since then he has shown a clear improvement in his fitness.

His appearance against Tottenham last month was the first time he had completed 90 minutes of Premier League football for 771 days.

Having done the same for Bournemouth in their following two matches, Wilshere can reflect that his loan move is starting to pay off in terms of his fitness and international prospects.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Wilshere back for England to face Scotland, Spain'. Print Edition | Subscribe