Wilshere scores for Arsenal XI

The England midfielder has not played a first-team game since suffering damaged ankle ligaments in a challenge from Manchester United’s Paddy McNair back in November.

Wilshere underwent a second operation on the joint in February, a small procedure to remove screws, but was fit enough to play 45 minutes for a makeshift Arsenal side that also included Mathieu Debuchy, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta.

Club captain Arteta is recovering from ankle surgery of his own and has also been out since November, while Debuchy has missed almost three months with a dislocated shoulder and Diaby’s ongoing injury problems have restricted him to one appearance this season.

Arteta, Diaby and Wilshere all played the first half of a 4-0 win, while Debuchy was withdrawn after an hour.

Arsene Wenger may now be able to consider some of his returning players for the Premier League game against Liverpool on Saturday, when victory would open up a nine-point lead on their visitors and rivals for a top-four place.