(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger singled out Jack Wilshere for praise after the midfielder’s strong showing helped the London side beat BATE Borisov 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday.
France striker Olivier Giroud’s scored his 100th goal for the club with a penalty, while Theo Walcott hit a brace and Rob Holding opened his account as Arsenal went top of Group H.
Wilshere, limited to just two Europa League appearances this season, impressed with his creativity in a number 10 role and Wenger said the 25-year-old was edging closer to his best.
“He had an outstanding first half and he did fight until the end. I think he is on a good way back to his best. He has shown that tonight,” Wenger told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
“He is at an age where a player normally gets to the best of his career. He is on the way up and he has only been stopped by a series of injuries,” the manager added.
Wilshere slipped down the pecking order at Arsenal after managing only 17 games in two seasons blighted by prolonged spells on the sidelines.
He made 27 league appearances for Bournemouth on loan last season, his biggest run of domestic outings since the 2013-14 season and Wenger hoped the player would stay fit going ahead.
“Hopefully, I just pray he is not hampered anymore by any problems and then we will see him getting stronger and stronger. He has shown again tonight that he has not lost his football.”
Arsenal return to Premier League action when they host newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien