Wenger: Wilshere needs years to recover

The England international has endured another stop-start campaign, requiring surgery on an ankle injury in November before suffering a setback prior to his return in February. These injuries form part of a long list of woe for Wilshere who spent 17 months on the sidelines due to a stress fracture in his ankle in 2011/12.

Wenger insists that patience is required if Wilshere is to hit – and exceed – the levels he has previously reached, but the Frenchman is confident that it is only a matter of time before the 23-year-old is at full strength.

"Jack is in front of what we expected him to be," Wenger said. "What takes a long time and what people underestimate a little bit is that to get back to be capable to play is one thing, but to be back and be capable to be sharp and efficient takes a bit longer.

"Even the players, from the moment they train again fully and the moment they are really back to their level, they are impatient, but it takes much longer than they think to get sharp again.

"In the Premier League it is a fraction of a second that makes you efficient or not.

"Jack plays with freedom as soon as he is back, so I don't think on that front it will be a problem. But he needs now one or two years without problems to really get the full confidence and belief back, and I don't see why it shouldn't happen," he added.