LONDON • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday played down a late-night scrape involving Jack Wilshere and revealed that the midfielder will make his long-awaited return to action this week.
Wilshere, 24, was photographed speaking to police in the early hours of Sunday morning after reportedly being turned away from a nightclub in central London.
The England midfielder will play in the club's Under-21 fixture against Newcastle on Friday and Wenger feels that the nightclub incident did not merit the media attention it received.
"I've spoken to him. It looks to be taken out of proportion a little bit," Wenger told a press conference ahead of his side's Premier League clash with West Ham tomorrow. "These are matters that we like to keep internal. This is a completely private matter. I don't know really what happened.
"There was no training session the next day. He had a day off. You can accept that sometimes the players go out, when they are free the next day, over the weekend. Overall, what is positive is that he works very, very hard. The news looks quite good. I think he will have a good test tomorrow night."
Wilshere has not played this season owing to a fractured shin in pre-season. His list of injuries is only slightly longer than his record of off-pitch incidents, but Wenger believes that it is fitness concerns, rather than disciplinary matters, that are the only barrier to a successful career.
The Frenchman revealed that midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini are in contention for the trip to West Ham after thigh and hamstring injuries respectively.
Arsenal are 11 points behind league leaders Leicester (69 points), albeit with a game in hand.
WEST HAM V ARSENAL
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