Martin Keown has told Arsene Wenger to start Jack Wilshere for Arsenal’s home clash against Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday’s north London derby.
The Gunners midfielder has struggled to secure first-team football at the Emirates Stadium this term following his return from a loan spell.
Indeed, Wenger permitted Wilshere to spend the 2016-17 season on loan at Bournemouth and the England star made one assist in 25 appearances.
The versatile midfielder returned to Arsenal in the summer and made his first appearance in 15 months when Wenger brought on the injury-prone Gunners star in a 3-1 win against Bundesliga outfit Cologne in the Europa League.
Wilshere has since made one assist in eight appearances, although the Arsenal star has only racked up 317 minutes of first-team action.
Keown was critical of Wenger’s decision to start Mesut Ozil ahead of Wilshere for Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City at The Etihad before the international break.
Wilshere came off the bench to produce an impressive cameo performance at the Premier League leaders and raise the question about a potential start in the North London Derby.
Former Arsenal defender Keown suggested that it is time Wenger restored Wilshere to the Gunners starting line-up ahead of the visit of Tottenham on Saturday.
“He will have been watching this international break with great interest,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“The fact that he has been left out of the England squad will motivate him even more.
“If he doesn’t get any football soon, he will become doubly frustrated. With Jack, the question always used to be, ‘Just how good can he become?’ Now, it is, ‘Can he still do it?’
“After Arsenal’s defeat by Manchester City, I argued that it was time for Arsene Wenger to play Wilshere in the Premier League.
“This could be the game where Wilshere bursts on to the scene and re-emerges as a player.”
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