Jack Wilshere hopes he is still in contention to be called up by Gareth Southgate to play for England at the World Cup this summer.
Wilshere, the Arsenal midfielder, has not played for England since the Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland, but he told Sky Sports he doesn’t know if the ankle injury that forced him out of friendlies against Netherlands and Italy in March will go against him.
“I’m hopeful,” Wilshere said. “I mean, I suppose it all comes down to Gareth and his coaching staff.
“I’ve always said before how proud I am to play for my country. I haven’t done it for a while. I was probably going to do it then unfortunately, I picked up a little knock, which wasn’t ideal, but I’m hopeful of going. Am I confident? I am not sure, but I want to go.”
A knee injury will keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out of the competition, potentially opening up a spot, but Wilshere said the current squad is still looking strong.
“There are good players in that team,” Wilshere said. “You have seen it this year.
“The team has come a long way since the Iceland game, where we lost and were really disappointed and there was a lot of rebuilding to do.”
Wilshere has been particularly proud of the performances of players such as Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling and thinks they can help England succeed in Russia.
“You just have to look in the Premier League this season and you see the likes of Sterling and Kane both near the top of the scoring charts and doing well,” Wilshere said. “There are players throughout — Jordan Henderson is in the Champions League final — playing big games, and these players have developed into top players and hopefully, we can have a good World Cup.”
With manager Arsene Wenger saying goodbye to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, it could also be Wilshere’s final home appearance.
Wilshere has been in a contract impasse since the start of the year and his deal expires at the end of the season.
Wenger said he wanted to keep Wilshere at the club, but Wilshere has reportedly been offered a lower basic salary than his current agreement because of his recent injuries.
“To be honest with you, I haven’t really thought about [the contract situation],” Wilshere said. “I’ve said before that this is where I want to be and I haven’t really had much time to think about moving clubs.”