Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere still not fully fit, says England’s Roy Hodgson

England boss Roy Hodgson admits Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is still searching for full fitness after Tuesday's World Cup qualifiers

Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere made 33 appearances for Arsenal last season Photo: Nike

Roy Hodgson says Jack Wilshere is still looking for “full fitness” after the Arsenal midfielder was prematurely substituted in England’s 0-0 draw in Ukraine on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old started alongside Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in a three-man midfield but was replaced by Ashley Young midway through the second half of the Kiev stalemate.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has used his prized asset sparingly at the start of the Premier League campaign after Wilshere missed part of the north London side’s pre-season.

And Hodgson admitted the Arsenal star struggled to replicate his Moldova performance against Ukraine due to a lack of fitness.

“Jack is still looking for full fitness,” says Hodgson. “That is why we took him off in the second half.

“We certainly saw a much more effective Jack against Moldova, but he still did his work against Ukraine and, tactically, did all the things I asked of him.”

After the Group H clash, Wilshere said: “I think it is a job well done. It is a tough place to come, we had a game plan that we stuck to and we could have even nicked a few goals, but in the end I think it was a fair result.

“We have two qualifiers coming up at home and we expect to win our home games. If we win those we are going to be on the plane to Brazil, so that was a good point.

“It was probably my biggest international game so far, my first really tough one away from home, it was a World Cup qualifier, in a hostile atmosphere and it was good for me.”

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