JACK WILSHERE should be the first name on England’s teamsheet this summer if they are to mount a possibility of winning the World Cup.
That is the perspective of lifelong companion and Bournemouth ace Benik Afobe.
Striker Afobe, 24, came by the girl ranks with Wilshere at Arsenal and they were team-mates again during the midfielder’s loan at the Cherries last term.
And if Wilshere is to star in Russia, he will have Bournemouth and boss Eddie Howe to appreciate for putting him on the right trail after a fibre of damage setbacks.
Although he got crocked towards the finish of last deteriorate against Spurs, Wilshere managed 29 Premier League appearances in what was mostly deliberate a successful spell on the south coast.
Afobe will acquire Wilshere back to Bournemouth today, with the Gunners ace having started the last 7 games.
Boss Arsene Wenger expects him to be fit for the outing to Dorset after an damage shock during Wednesday’s 0-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg draw against Chelsea.
Afobe told SunSport: “Gareth Southgate has got to take Jack to the World Cup if he is fit and maintains his stream form.
WIL HE MAKE IT? Arsenal star Jack Wilshere back to his best and odds-on to make England’s World Cup squad
“He’s on fire at the moment and has to be the first name on the teamsheet.
“I’ve famous Jack given we was eight and he was nine. I’ve always believed in him, as have the people around him.
“But we honestly consider many of the republic have believed in him, too.
“He has been harmed utterly a few times — his knee, his ankle — some hapless injuries that have slowed down the course of his career.
“Now some people are repelled that Jack is back personification consistently. He really is on a goal to infer the doubters wrong. He also wants to infer those who have corroborated him right.
“The problem has always been can he play 25 to 30 joining games in a season?
“When he came to Bournemouth, he had come back from an injury. But now he can play and hopefully he can be mostly transparent of problems.
“His ankle sealed during a tackle on Wednesday — but he says he will be OK to play against us.
“To be fair, Southgate does like him. He is rarely rated by the FA and all the England coaches. They just wish to see him week in, week out.
“You wish to be picking players on form and that is what every player goes by.
“I don’t consider players — Jack enclosed — mind not being comparison for England if they’re not playing. He’s just back into the Arsenal group and he’s been their best player for the last 5 games.
“England need him because, let’s be frank, he’s one of the many artistic English players over the last decade.
“I’m not just observant it since he’s a partner — but for this country’s consequence he needs to be on the craft to Russia.
“Hopefully he can say his form. There are still 5 months left of the deteriorate and he has just got to keep going and stay fit, create goals and be happy.
“He is always at his best when he has got a grin on his face — and that is accurately what I’m seeing right now. Long may it continue.”
Afobe played a big partial in Wilshere signing for the Cherries last season. The hitman swayed him to take up Howe’s offer of being means to play first-team football every week.
He said: “Jack valid to people he could play a vast cube of games in the Premier League in a season.
“We work very hard. We had to press opponents and Jack wasn’t some arrange of oppulance player.
“He didn’t get any special treatment. He saw it was a opposite arrange of football to Arsenal.
“But that was no problem to Jack since he is a common man anyway.
“He’s a Hitchin child from a good family. I’ve famous his mum, dad, brother, sister and wife for years.
“And he’s never been a big-time Charlie. At Bournemouth, it was good for him to be around other English lads, his best partner and a manager who believed in him.”
Afobe left Arsenal 3 years ago but stays a big fan of the club. And he is subsidy the Gunners to squeeze a top-four mark despite heated competition.
He said: “Manchester City have won the title. Then you’ve got Chelsea and Manchester United just under that.
“It’s going to be a battle of the two North London clubs and Liverpool for fourth. But we consider Arsenal can get it.
“They’ve been unsuitable but when they’ve incited it on, they’ve finished it big style. And they’ve given us games that the neutrals have loved.
“It goes to show the arrange of football they can play. If they get some-more coherence they will stand the table.”