Belfast Telegraph

Wenger won't set targets for Wilshere

Arsene Wenger can offer no guarantees Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will be fit for the start of next season.

Wilshere has already been ruled out of featuring at the European Championships but Team GB coach Stuart Pearce has the player very much in his thoughts for the Olympics squad.

However, Wenger believes that must be as good as ruled out, and said: "I do not want to set the Olympics as a target because I do not know whether Jack will be fit to start at the beginning of the season."

He added: "It is our target to get him to improve. When we start [pre-season training] on July 9, can he join in, then we have won the battle, but that is not guaranteed."

Wenger feels it could be detrimental to Wilshere's long-term progress if he is rushed back into action too soon.

"You get the first knock, but think 'Okay, at least I will be ready for the Euros.' Then you have to convince him, 'look my friend, it will not work for the Euros.' You knock him down again," Wenger said.

"Then, you set him another target [the Olympics]. If he doesn't make it, he will lose a complete appetite for rehab because it's difficult.

"If you say, 'you can go to the Olympics' and he doesn't make it, what do you give him after?

"You must work every day on the machines out there, not knowing when you come back. Let's take our time and not set any specific targets.

"The most important thing for him is to focus on day-to-day work and see if he can get better."

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