- Premier League
Wenger confident Wilshere will sign new deal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not fear Jack Wilshere will join the long list of star names walking out on the club, as the England midfielder prepares to begin negotiations over a new contract.
Wilshere still has two years left on his current Arsenal deal, but Gunners officials are keen to ensure their No.10 does not run his contract down as so many of Wenger's big names have done in the last few years.
Theo Walcott is the latest Arsenal star stalling over committing his long-term future to the club, and could follow the likes of recently-departed Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas in leaving Emirates Stadium.
Yet Wenger has suggested Wilshere, who has been at Arsenal since the age of nine, will buck the trend when he sits down to discuss a new deal.
"Jack has always been very committed to this club and I hope he will show that," Wenger said on Tuesday. "There is only one way to show that and that is to commit your long-term future to the club. He still has two-and-a-half years left, which is quite a long time."
Wenger has stated his intention to build a strong base of home-grown stars as he looks to a brighter future at Arsenal, with his experience of losing a host of foreign players in recent years convincing him to change direction.
"It is not a coincidence by the work we have done that we have more good English players here now," the Arsenal boss said. "We look first at quality and if the quality is local it's even better because it gives you more guarantee of stability. English players who play for Arsenal are more likely to stay than foreign players, but first we look at quality."
Wenger had confirmed that Wilshere will return to the Arsenal line-up for Wednesday night's game against Everton at Goodison Park, while there may also be an appearance from Walcott, as he recovered from the shoulder injury that kept him out of the 0-0 stalemate at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Wenger has also confirmed that long-time absentee Tomas Rosicky is back in training and will be in contention for a first team return "when he has played a couple of reserve games."