Wilshere closing in on Arsenal deal

Arsene Wenger has hinted that Jack Wilshere could be handed a new Arsenal contract after the midfielder’s impressive display against Liverpool.

Wilshere’s outing in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool was his third successive Premier League start – his longest run in the Arsenal first team in three years.

The 25-year-old’s current deal runs out at the end of the season and there have been doubts over whether he will stay at the club after an injury-prone career so far.

But after shaking off a mixed first half with an excellent second half display against Liverpool, Wilshere caught the eye of Gunners boss Wenger.

“I think he was one of the players who played with quality even in the first half, determination” said Wenger.

“You know Jack, he is never frozen as always.

“What he did in the second half was like the rest of the team. Yes, I like what he did.

“He is better now than he was in the last two to three years. I think it is positive overall and he is in a very good shape in the moment.

“We had four players tonight who have been educated at our academy with Niles-Maitland, Bellerin, Iwobi and with Wilshere.

“We are certainly the only ones at the top [doing that] but basically we want to keep these players.”

Wenger blamed Arsenal’s first half troubles on stage-fright, with this month’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United still fresh in the memory.

“I felt in the first half we were paralysed and frozen – we played too deep,” added Wenger.

“We gave a lot of balls away and were second best.

“It was down to a psychological factor and there was a bearing to the Manchester United game when we had a bad start.”